Concerning the late Roger Carlyle

Adventure Summary 07
Wherein the investigators receive a lesson in trust

Having procured Dr. Houston’s files, the investigators decided to see what they had found. Inside the file was a small manila folder with the name “Carlyle, Roger” printed at the top. Inside, the team found the case notes of the late playboy. While reading, Rowley, noticed that it seemed as though Huston began to record less and less about Carlyle, almost as though he were hiding something.

On a hunch, Mentiri went and talked with the local ne’er-do-well, Wayne Resnick. Resnick was not helpful at first, but once his palms were greased a bit, he told Mentiri that he heard the cultist had been staying at a warehouse down by the docks. With a bit more grease, he even dropped the name Doctor as the leader of the group there. Mentiri, Remy, and Rowley all hopped into Mentiri’s car and headed to the docks to find out what they could.

Back at the Carter residence, Dr. May Knight was phoned and asked to join the expedition. Carter felt that it would be good to have an archeologist along (as well as someone with contacts in London). She accepted, and Papadakis drove her to the hotel she would be staying at.

At the docs, the three men were met with a dilapidated building surrounded by six foot high fences around it. Mentiri began to circle the place looking for a way in and found a small section of the fence that had broken off at about four feet high. He and Remmy hopped the fence and began to case the joint.

It was only a few steps later they saw a dog round the corner and run straight for them. Mentiri was bit in the thigh and the backside, but otherwise, they both made it out unharmed. Stealth was clearly not going to work in this instance, so the group tried the front door.

The building was nearly empty, save for a few cans of dog food in one corner, a bum sleeping in another, and a writing mass in yet another. Upon inspection, it was two vagrants in the throws of passion. Upon Rowley’s interrupting of them, a brief scuffle ensued. Finding nothing of use or value, the men left, egos and backsides bruised.

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Adventure Summary 06
Wherein the investigators secure information

Having surveyed the scene of Matthias M. Merryweather III’s suicide, the investigators decided to split up. Edgar Rowley, Doyle Mentiri, and Remy Federico all decided to head back to the office of Adrian Ferris to see if they could get their fingers on Dr. Robert Huston’s case notes on Roger Carlyle; while Nico Papadakis and Dr. Michael Carter headed out to find a drink to clear their heads; Jonathan Scott meanwhile stayed behind to clean up the mess.

Once at the Ferris’ office, the three waited and staked the place out for a bit. From what they could tell, the only night security was one dumpy man making 10-minute rounds of the building. Rowley went to run distraction as Remmy and Mentiri attempted to climb the fire-escape on the other side of the building. Using a clever suction cup contraption, Remmy was able to cut a small hole into the window and let themselves in.

At the same time, Rowley’s encounter was beginning to escalate. The guard fled to call his partner for help and Rowley gave chase.

Back inside the building, the two investigators had found the office they were looking for and had secured their way in.

With a heavy overhand swing, Rowley bashed the guard over the head as he was shouting for help. Awaking to the commotion, the elderly Irishman awoke an ran to the door, flinging it wide with a pistol at the ready.

Inside the office the two men diligently worked to get the door to the records room opened.

The man shouted to Rowley to drop his weapon, and he did. Figuring the man didn’t have the stones to shoot, Rowley then lit a cigarette and fled. Shots were fired and Rowley took a bullet to the leg, but otherwise escaped unharmed.

Mentiri and Remmy, both startled by the commotion hurried into the room, found the file they were looking for and quietly made their way back outside.

Carter and Papadakis had decided that a few drinks would do them both wonders. Together they headed to a nearby speakeasy. It was here they were seated next to a man in a suit and a beautiful woman.

While they were unwinding from their day, the two investigators overheard the man across from them invite the woman to Ms. Erica Carlyle’s Valentines Day Bash at her estate. The woman accepted, and in a fit of excitement the man bought a round of drinks for everyone.

The investigators used this opportunity to introduce themselves to the couple. The beautiful woman introduced herself as Dr. May Knight, an archaeologist with a passion for medieval England; and the man introduced himself as Edward Gavigan. The investigators immediately recalled the name as being someone heavily mentioned along with Erica Carlyle during her rise to power in the company.

Over the course of the evening, the four talked and drank merilly. Before the evening ended Papadakis managed to talk his way into two tickets to Erica Carlyle’s Valentines Day Bash! Gavigan excused himself and the young lady and they left for the evening.

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Adventure Summary 05
Wherein a gruesome discovery is made

In search of further information, Dr. Michael Carter, Nico Papadakis, Jonathan Scott, and Doyle Mentiri (along with the absent Edgar Rowley and Remy Federico) purchased railroad tickets to Boston. The ride was uneventful; the investigators arriving only two hours later.

It was in Boston that they split up. Carter stayed behind at the library of Miskatonic, while the others went to question Miriam Atwright at Harvard. Upon their arrival, the group was met by Miriam who seemed more than eager to help them. She took the group downstairs to where the older, more valuable, books are kept. It was in this locked room that she explained the mysterious disappearance of the Africa’s Dark Sects circa 1595. Not much information was gathered as beyond the unearthly smell, there was nothing. The group was able to determine that seven years ago the book had been checked out to a visiting professor form the University of Southern Carolina. It seemed the library was a dead end.

The group decided it would be in their interest to find a professor of African Studies and see if he could shed any light on “Chakota”. Papadakis and Scott sat in on a lecture given by Professor David Apter. After his lecture, the men questioned him to the roots of “Chakota”. Apter was unfamiliar with this, though he was able to tell them that the word is an amalgamation of two Swahili words in an ancient dialect: Evil god/powerful being and phallus.

Meanwhile, Carter, with the help of the librarian, had discovered more information regarding the symbol found on Elias’ forehead. With the vague references they found, they were able to piece together that the symbol is that of cult of the god of the Bloody Tongue, and that this cult is/was centered in Kenya.

As it was getting late, the investigators headed to Papadakis’ apartment for an evening of rest. The following morning, they returned to the library and began to research the lives of Sir Aubrey Penhew and Dr. Robert Ellington Huston.

Of Penhew they found:
  • Held limited service as Lieutenant with Yorkshire Guards from 1901 to 1902
  • Breveted as Colonel in British Army from 1915 to 1916
  • Retired thereafter because of injury (undisclosed)
  • Penhew’s trace their nobility from the time of William the Conqueror, when Sir Boris Penhew acquired great holdings in the west of England
  • With the exception of Sir Blaize, who was beheaded in 1610 for treason and black magic (his crimes nearly cost the line its titles and properties), the Penhew’s have been prosperous for 800 years.
  • Graduated with honors in classics from Oxford
  • Spent the next several years in Egypt surveying and performing exploratory excavations
  • Biography notes credited with founding several important branches of Egyptology and for several important discoveries, particularly at Dhashur
  • The Penhew Foundation has underwritten many important researches at home and abroad
  • Has titles to several stately homes, as well as mansions in London, the Cotswolds, Monaco, and Alexandria (Egypt), and townhouses in Paris, Rome, and Athens
  • Private life is little known with the exception being that he is unmarried and has no children
  • Seems to be held in high respect amongst his peers
And of Huston they found:
  • No military service
  • Youngest of 3 boys
  • Father was a Chicago M.D, who as a young man was reputed to have been involved in several deviant sects
  • Robert graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University
  • Left his study of circulatory-ailments and left his wife to study under Freud and then under Jung in Vienna
  • Was among the first to study the mind, which dealt with much sexuality (of which no respectable person would talk about)
  • Huston’s salacious and dangerous past, along with his elegant manners and sardonic wit, made him in demand upon his return to NY
  • He established a practice in psychoanalyst where his fees were 50-60$ per visit (a professor might make 4000$ a year)
  • Popular among women
  • Roger Carlyle was one of his patients
  • Had just broken off an affair with Miss Imelda Bosch who had then committed suicide
  • After Huston declared dead, his records were turned over to the Medical Affairs Board of NY
  • Held up by bureaucracy, the records have not yet been destroyed Rumors abounded
  • Huston supposedly went on Roger’s expedition to continue treatment
  • Roger Carlyle helped hush the scandal, perhaps in return for Huston’s company on the expedition
  • Carlyle didn’t think that Huston would keep Roger’s problems a secret if he wasn’t nearby
  • Huston returned with Carlyle to Egypt to meet with Huston’s real father

Armed with their newfound knowledge, the investigators boarded a train back to New York to visit the Medical Affairs Board. It was here they met the Secretary of the MDB a Mr. Adrian Ferris. Ferris is a no-nonsense man, and refused anyone but a member of the family in to see the documents. Temporarily defeated, the men returned to Carter’s home.

Pulling up to the house they noticed a letter on the floor. Upon closer examination, the letter was from Jonah Kensington. Before the had a chance to read the letter, they heard a gunshot. Armed and ready for a fight, the men all entered the home and began to search. When they came to the room that Matthias Merryweather had been staying in they found the door to be locked. Mentiri picked the lock and made a gruesome discovery.

Covering the walls of the room were symbols and frantic writing both in blood and apparently carved into the walls with a knife. The windows had been caked with blood to block out any sunlight and the room was filled with candles and incense. Lying face down in the center of the room was Merryweather with what appeared to be a self-inflicted head wound. On the bureau was the volume from which this except had come. With this they also found a heavy volume of notes taken by Elias during his time in Nairobi. This notes and journals were filled with the handwriting of Merryweather. As one flipped through them it was a case-study into a person’s slide into insanity. Throughout the notes were references to things which were not written, mundane words and thoughts were added to in increasingly agitated writings. Terms like “cave” were scratched out and replaced with words like “demon”, so that in Elias’ journal, he would enter the great maw of the demon, and the like. The angles of letters would be stretched and turned into symbols and Os would become spirals on the page. From the book he would continue the spiral onto the wall.

Once Carter had the time to collect himself, he was able to read the note left on the doorstep. It was a letter from Kensington and read as follows:
Dearest Michael and companions,

This morning I had come across more information from Elias’ that my assistant had misfiled. I hurried to your home to deliver these to you and to give you my most sincere apologies. At the door I was greeted by your companion Matthias to whom I gave the volumes. In a most unusual fashion, Matthias began to explain to me the connections he was making in the Journal of our late friend. He seemed rather out of sort and mentioned something about having been up for days. Your friend seemed to feel he had found something in the journals, but I’m afraid that I was unable to gleam any sense from his explanations.

I write you now to give my apologies to you for not providing you with everying upfront, and to emplore you to look into your friend. I believe he may be breaking under the weight of the loss of his good friend.

Yours,

Jonah Kensington

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Adventure Summary 04
Wherein the investigators attend the funeral for a friend and scour the city for information.

The evening came to a conclusion at the home of Dr. Michael Carter where Remy Federico opened the newspaper to discover that the obituary of their late friend, Elias Jackson , which announced that he would be having a funeral the following day. Shortly thereafter the doorbell rang. Standing at the door, looking much worse for wear was Edgar Rowley, alone. Doyle Mentiri had let him out of his cell and stayed behind to clean up the mess Rowley had caused.

The next morning, the team headed to the cemetery to say their goodbyes to their friend. It was here they met Jonah Kensington, a longtime friend of Jackson and an acquaintance of Carter. After the funeral the investigators met with Kensington back at his office. He explained of Jackson’s erratic nature prior to his death as well as some of the more cryptic letters.

First, he gave the investigators a letter , explaining that Jackson felt he had onto something he feared was over Jackson’s head…or his friend was losing his mind. He felt his latter assumption was more accurate, as shortly after he received another letter from Jackson. The second set he gave to the investigators was a series of pages, folded and stitched together to form a small quarto volume of forty pages. Frequently a page or a dozen pages are blank. Sometimes a single word is repeated for several pages. Most entries are written with agitation and can barely be read. The following was an excerpt from these notes (or that made any sense):

Many names, many forms, but all the same and toward one end…Need Help…Too big, too ghastly. These dreams…dreams like Carlyle’s? Check that psychoanalyst’s files…All of them survived! They’ll open the gate. Why?...so the power and the danger is real. They…many threads beginning…The books are in Carlyle’s safe…Coming for me. Will the ocean protect? Ho Ho no quitters now. Must tell, and make readers Believe. Should I scream for them? Let’s scream together…

He also gave the team two names Jackson had mentioned about his meeting in London: Mickey Mahoney, editor of The Scoop, and Inspector James Barrington of Scottland Yard. He also gave them the business card Jackson had left in his office. With this new information, the team split up and tried to collect more data.

Nico Papadakis phoned the Harvard library and spoke with Miriam Atwright regarding a book Jackson had written her in search of. She reported back that he had looked for the book Africa’s Dark Sects, but they did not have it. Only a month prior, the book had vanished from that section of the library. When pressed further, she reported “There was an unspeakable odor in the collection the day we noticed the book was missing”.

During this time, Carter and Jonathan Scott returned to Emerson Imports to attempt to gleam more information. It was here they met Arthur Emerson, who was eager to help. Unfortunately, he did not have any further information to provide the couple.

Matthias Merryweather, Rowley, and Remy had gone off to find the New York Pillar offices. Here they scoured for information regarding the disappearance of the Carlyle expedition, but came away nearly empty handed. They were able to get the name of Erica Carlyle’s Chief Council, a man named Bradley Grey.

Everyone, with their newfound information reconvened at the Carter house, where they exchanged information and planned their next move.

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Scrawled halfway through a notebook labeled "ECON 101"

Nico Papadakis, what have you gotten yourself into..?

I need to keep track of what’s going on.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around it all.

This is a mess.  Understatement of the year, but that’s what it is.  Ever since I got back to New York, things just got more and more outta hand.  I shoulda known that telegrams never bring you good news.  Anything that urgent, gotta be bad.  And that’s all this whole mess’s been: bad news.

I never thought I woulda seen what I saw in the trenches again.  Closed that chapter of my life, started over.  But then I saw Jackson Elias, all cut-up and gutted, looking like he just took a dive on a grenade.  So much blood and viscera.. (that’s a good word!)  A man ain’t supposed to see this kinda thing.  I shoulda got out then.  Went back to school.  Pretended like it never happened.

But it did happen.  And it kept happening.  Jackson Elias was a good man, and I couldn’t turn my back on his death.  Especially if the NYPD was as much of a joke as Mentiri says.. (I wonder about that!)  So I went with them to try and solve this case.  It must’ve been the shock- we were possessed!  This was no matter for us, but we had a cop and a special agent with us.  Like we were deputies, or something.  With righteousness on our side, maybe?  Doc Carter prob’ly shoulda kept us even, but that was his friend he saw, splattered on the walls of the hotel room.  I can’t blame him more than I can blame myself, to wanna see some justice in this world.

I don’t even remember the frenzied search of the warehouse, or just what I was looking to find.  I don’t remember what we said to the man who’s Hudson they stole (but I remember his wife- poor Martin!).  But everything that happened at the Ju Ju House, I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

I was hoping to get us in without a fuss.  It was late, after all.  But we were all tired, weren’t thinking straight.  Waltzed up to the back door, like a badge really was a shield, and got jumped for our troubles.  It didn’t seem like a big deal at first- even when the hobo pulled a knife on me.  I grew up in Queens, after all!  And then there were gunshots and screams.  And then a hobo caught a bullet to the brain.  I was afraid to look, at first, thought I’d see Paddy.  But I didn’t, I saw dirt and despair, and blood in spades.  That wasn’t Paddy.

And what the hell was going on in the basement!  People dancing around, with their bits all hanging out?!  Blood sacrifices??  It’s still dizzying.  Even that alone, I’d have a hard time believing.  But I know what I heard, and I KNOW what I SAW!  Coming up from the black like one of those cobras from a basket, screaming like.. like I don’t even know what, nothing on this earth makes that sound.  And FACES, it was covered in FACES!  What the hell is that?!  And he FED someone to it!!  I still have nightmares!!  Chakota…

And I coulda done something, I coulda..  Rowley’s a liability.  I don’t wanna think about that anymore.

That didn’t leave us with anything to go on but the insanity that only two of us saw, and half of us didn’t believe.  Going back was no better, but the creature they left behind..  I don’t wanna say I was glad Mentiri saw it.  It messed him up.  But it was validating.  I’m not crazy, even if I wish I was. 

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Excerpt from Remy Fedrico's Journal

Hitting the Club

Well, that meeting with the Professor was boring! I mean, he was passionate, can’t hate a man for that, but that just led nowhere. Although the Club wasn’t much better. That was a real flat tire if I ever saw one. We need to prepare better next time. That rich dame was real pompous, I should have known how to dealt with her. I tripped up. I didn’t plan things out. I think I’m still freaked out about that zombie. I mean, with stuff like that around, how can I live like normal? That floosey and her torpedo were a hassle. We were just lucky that cop wasn’t inside from the beginning. Though Rowley didn’t do much better. Hopefully he stays locked up so the rest of us can find out what’s going on without him making this a real fake-aloo! This is stressful stuff, I could really go for some Crawfish ‘bout now.

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Notes quickly scribbled on a police note pad

It’s a whole new layer I never knew. Thought I was in the best position. Now something beyond my control. I hate it.

Doctor seems to know what he’s doing- might be a future asset. Solider is pushy and carries himself like this is his city… but he’s a long way from the battlefield. The rest are just like him, except without the training.

Man walking with his guts out. Maybe just junkie who didn’t realize he was injured? No. Got to stop thinking it’s the world I thought I knew. Must adapt or I will go under.

None of them will listen to me. Must be patient. Merryweather will get himself killed- this is obviously beyond anything he can handle. The red-eyed freak is too quiet. Must watch him closely. And pretty sure Rowley is completely mad. Still, they’re more bodies that are between me and a bullet. Or a knife. Or whatever these crazy cult fucks are up to.

Club was a disaster. Didn’t know what they were doing. If I wasn’t stuck outside, could have got the information I needed. Hope the chump liked the feeling of a wood plank across the back of his stupid head. But now we’re at another dead end.

Must do more investigating. Need to understand the new threat. Got to find my a better position in this new world.

Then will deal with these minor inconveniences.

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Adventure Summary 03
Wherein the investigators attempt to question Erica Carlyle

Deciding to follow up on a clue , our intrepid adventurers made their way to New York College to visit the lecturer. Upon their arrival, Rowley overheard two young ladies mention that Erica Carlyle would be in town.

The group was directed towards the east side of campus, where Professor Anthony Dimsdale Cowles had taken up residence during his stay in New York. It was here they met the beautiful Miss Ewa Seaward Cowles as well.

Professor Cowles basically explained the entirety of his lecture to them. Cowles had very little knowledge of Jackson Elias, but told them what he knew. Later that evening, after bidding adieu to Cowles, Mentiri, Remy, Nico, and Rowley, all headed to the LeRoy Dance Club to meet up with Carlyle.

Due to their overall lack of money, nice clothes, and general poshness, they were restricted entry. After some clever searching and a bit of breaking and entering, Remmy was able to sneak everyone in through the kitchen door. Once inside, Rowley had attempted to speak with Carlyle but was repeatedly turned away by Joe Corey, Carlyle’s bodyguard.

A scuffle ensued and Rowley was later arrested. Due to quick thinking on Mentiri’s part, he was able to fool the bouncers into releasing Rowley into his care. The group returned to Carter’s place, beaten and bruised, but not broken.

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Excerpt from Remy Fedrico's Journal

Meeting the Gang

I arrived quickly to the Juju House to find a group of men beating on some other men. It turns out the guys winning were the friends of Mr. Elias. They seemed to be in a hurry and just allowed me to come along since the good doctor knew my name. Though the cop was kind of annoying. Luckily, he left quickly. Once in this weird African tribal store, I found some knives and a secret door. We traveled down and stood in front of a giant stone door for a long time. Occasionally opening it to see a giant orgy. These guys really like to take there time. I heard a shriek that would make a voodoo mama cry while we were down there. Chilled the soul. Rowley did some shouting and we had to high tail it. Of course, knowing how to stall for time helped, even if some of them didn’t like the fire idea, I feel it worked well. Eventually we went to the doctor’s house and as I took in the night, I realized this story might be fruitful for me, and thus the community back home in N’Orleans. While there, it seemed I wasn’t trusted enough to be left alone, yet they trust me to fight with them? The next morning, I went along with the cop and the army vet to see what was left of the Juju house. Maybe get some clues. Nothing there but a zombie. Who knew such legends were real? Makes you wonder, no?

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Adventure Summary 02
Wherein the investigators encounter a sadistic cult and get their first taste of insanity

The men all stood around the back entrance of the JuJu House catching their breath when they heard a faint rustling in the alley besides them. Cautiously, the men all readied themselves and ordered the lurker out. A man steps out of the shadows and introduced himself as Remy Federico and explained how he made his way to find the gentlemen. After some brief introductions, the men made their way into the shop, while Carter stayed outside on watch.

They all made their way around the little shop and helped themselves to the elaborate weaponry. During his inspection, Remy noticed that behind the counter the rug was rolled back revealing a trapdoor. The door was unlocked, so the group followed the stairs down to the rather large hallway below.

Once in the hallway, the sounds of drums in a rhythmic beat became clear. The drums played an accompaniment to the cacophonous sounds of a large crowd in a frenzy. At the end of this stone hewn hallway, the men all stood before a set of massive oak doors. Steeling himself, Merryweather slowly opened the door to look inside.

From his angle of the room, Merryweather was able to make out a rather large underground room filled to capacity with naked writhing bodies. Upon seeing this Rowley undressed and donned his own leather headpiece and ventured into the crowd. From within the room, Rowley was able to make out the naked man leading the ceremony, as well as two unconscious prisoners hanging from a rafter and two zombies flanking the priest. At that sight, Rowley exits the room to inform the others of his findings, while Mentiri went back upstairs to call for backup.

Mentiri and Carter spend a few minutes cleaning up the more incriminating evidence lying around outside and then phone the police. From dispatch he was informed that there was one officer in the area, but backup would take 20+ minutes.

Meanwhile, back inside the JuJu House, the frenzy seems to come to a halt and the priest began to speak. Though they could make out his words, they can tell he is very empassioned by what he is said.

The minutes stretch on for hours, but Officer Hubert Cumberdale shows up on the scene. Mentiri and Merryweather inform him of the happenings inside and they all rush back to the building. Back in the hallway, the group hears the crowd begin to chant “Chakota, Chakota, Chakota!” The sound of a winch being pulled is followed shortly thereafter by a scream the likes of which none of them had ever heard. Peeking back inside, the crowd is gathered around a large hole in the floor that had been previously covered by a tremendous stone. Inside the whole was what could only be described as a giant pulsating worm covered in dozens of faces, all of them writhing in agony. Standing above the whole was the priest, holding a sacrifice.

“Halt!” fills the room and all eyes turn to Rowley. The priest grabs a cultist by the hair and hurls him to the ravenous beast and shouts for his subjects to get the intruders. Papadakis slammed the door shut and deadbolted it as the angry mob beyond began to pound on it. At this point, the group had little choice but to head back upstairs and hope for the best. The shut and locked the trapdoor and pushed a heavy armoire on top for good measure and waited.

Soon the silence was broken by the sounds of gunshots as the trapped cultists began to shoot their way out. On their way out the door, the group grabs Mentiri and Cumberdale and ran.

Everyone went to their respective cars and began as the group of naked cultists poured out of the building armed with African weaponry and gave chase. Once in the cars, everyone made it out without incident, save for Carter and Rowley. Carter had to drop Rowley off at his car and met two cultists on the way. With an expert display of driving, Rowley backed up over one of the and headed off down an alley with the second hanging from the roof. After some weaving and tricky driving, Rowley slammed on the breaks and the cultist toppled off onto the floor. With some glee, Rowley drove over the cultist and headed back to Carter’s.

Back at his home, Carter began to question the junkie trapped in the truck. While searching him, Carter came across a piece of paper folded to hold the junkie’s cocaine. There was no good information to be had from the junkie, so the next morning they dropped him off at the police station for his part in the murder of Jackson Elias.

While writing his report Mentiri noticed a matchbook left on his desk by Poole.

Carter spent the day researching the symbol that had been carved into his friends forehead and found that it thought to have been an offshoot of an unnamed cult driven out of dynastic Egypt. At that same time, everyone else had gone back to the JuJu House only to find it having been burnt down. After some searching the made their way back into the secret room. In the room they encountered a zombie.

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