|Arkham Horror | Published 18 March 2009|
Near famished, we proceeded to Velma's Diner. The roadways were almost empty, and the shadows from the setting sun were long before us. Out front Pete sits idly scratching Duke. Seeing us approach, he stands and greets us. The nights have been hard lately, and Pete looks like he has hardly slept. He and Duke follow us inside, and I am surprised Velma merely greets Duke with a pat on the head. It seems Duke and Pete are welcome here, a fact for which I am sure Pete is gladdened. We sit and shortly after Velma brings over four plates of food, and even a small plate for Duke. Looking surprised, Velma merely dismisses my questioning look. "A friend of Pete's is in need of eats. This one is on the house. Times ain't so tough I can't help those that are needing." With that she heads back towards the kitchen. We eat our dinners with gusto, and thank Velma heartily as we proceed out the door. The Professor bid us good evening and headed back to campus, Jenny, Pete and myself strike out towards Ma's. We make it a block or so, when we are joined by McGlen. All of us are shocked by his appearance, as the last we had heard he was headed directly to jail. "Seems another couple of folks were taken after they brought me in. Sheriff finally listened to my story when that happened. They let me out, gave me back my stuff, and I headed up to Ma's. She told me you would probably be up at Velma's, seein' as how you weren't eatin' dinner with her. So I came up here to see what you guys managed to find out." McGlen's story, while convenient, was readily accepted by Jenny. Pete introduced himself, and the four of us proceeded to the boarding house. The stars shine out overhead, and we cluster together. Even though we are in the depths of February, the cold is kept at bay by the sun. Once night falls, the chill creeps in. No snow graces the ground, and I thank the heavens for the small warmth that persists.
We near the lodge of the members of the Silver Twilight order. McGlen regales us with a story of a scrap he was in with some of the members of the lodge, taking great pains to mention his daring in the brawl. We laugh at his descriptions, and almost miss the girl running towards us. Her cries are octaves above comfort, and she is running flat out as if the gates of Hell have opened behind her. McGlen intercepts her and she rails against his grip. No sooner does he grab her, then the winds begin to pick up. The temperature drops, and the girl quiets immediately. A short ways behind her are two men, dressed in exquisite robes. "Thank you kind sir for catching our poor Elsie. She shouldn't be out in this cold." The men go to grab the girl, and she hides her face in McGlen's coat. I ask the gentleman what manner of business they are conducting at night with a child, in such wonderful robes. "Good sir, the manners of the lodge are not ours to divulge. If you please, we will take Elsie off your hands and be on our way." Their words are kind enough, but send shivers up my spine. McGlen looks reluctant, but hands the girl over to the men. The instant she is in their grasp, the winds die down. We glance at one another in the suddenly still air. The two men guide the girl, who has now gone silent, towards the lodge. I step forward and raise my hand to grab the robe of one of the men, and a third steps in my path. "Good sir, perhaps it was time for you and your compatriots to be on your way. We must attend to our poor Elsie." The man's voice is steel, and his eyes intense. I look back to the others, confusion on my face. Jenny comes up and grabs my arm. "Come on Calvin, lets leave these nice men alone." She leads me away, and I can't help but feel a coward.
We return to Ma's, a pall over us. Jenny goes up to her room, McGlen to his. I remain in the common area with Pete and Duke. I must have dozed off in my chair, as I awoke to a dark empty room. The night is silent, and I feel a great sense of unease fill me. I stand and cross to the window. The moon shines down on the wooded area behind Ma's. The woods do nothing to settle my unease, and staring into the shadows between their branches chills my blood. I intend to go to my room, but find myself standing in front of Jenny's room. I raise my hand to knock, but the door opens before I can announce myself. Jenny nearly runs into me as she comes out into the hallway, "Calvin, what are you doing in the hall in the middle of the night?" I tell her that I don't rightly know the answer to that question myself. I ask her the same, "I think I may have something on where my sister is. Joe mentioned some meeting place down by the river. They only meet in the dead of night, and I figure I can sneak about easier than Joe can." The thought of Jenny skulking about the river docks in the dead of night is not one I care to ponder. I offer to accompany her, and insist when she first refuses. With this, we head out into the darkness.
The encounter outside the Silver Twilight Lodge was...chilling. It gave me the impressionof Lodge members gaining Corruption cards from their rituals. That would be something I'd like to see.
I like the story. It is very fitting for the Arkham Universe and the art work is fantastic.