Gloria Goldberg had been having dreams of the fay folk all her life. This had been the source of her inspiration as she started out writing children's books. And while her writing had turned to more serious themes, she had never lost contact to that world of wonder.
But now her dreams were haunted by dark shadows and menacing men and evil things. And time and again, she saw a single building, a building she knew fairly well, the museum here in Arkham. Gloria felt sure that something bad was going on there, and she was determined to find out what.
Fortunately, the museum director was a friend of her from school days, and she was able to convince him to allow her to stay at the museum during the nights. He even allowed her to check all archives and exhibits as she saw fit.
Still, she feared that this investigation would be very difficult, so she took her .45 automatic with her, as well as an ancient scroll containing a spell called "Dread Curse of Azathoth". Some of her friends would have laughed at her, but she firmly believed in the power of this magic, but she also knew that it would not come without a price. Still, dire times needed dire measures.
Day 1 - 18:00
Gloria decided to check out the records first. Initially, there was nothing spectacular, but then she noticed that one set was missing. She searched every notch and cranny but couldn't find a trace of it.
During the search, she got more and more frenzied and only stopped when the nearby clock struck midnight.
Day 2 - 0:00
Going to the rest room to refresh herself, Gloria paused in front of the mirror. There were shadows and grey patches on her face that had not been there before. Was she imagining this or was something going on with her?
As Gloria stepped backwards, she noticed a putrid smell. Turning around, she saw a figure shambling towards her. More instinctively than calculated, she slammed the door at it and the figure fell backward and ceased to move.
Getting a closer look, Gloria shivered as she realized that it was a half-decomposed corpse. But she had seen it move but moments ago!
Returning to the rest room, she stared at her mirror image again. To her relief, she realized that some of the patches had been mere reflections in the mirror whereas the others came from her lack of sleep.
Defiantly, Gloria showed her tongue to the mirror - and the mirror shattered. Behind it, a strange rune carved into the wall was faintly glowing in a blue light, and there was an odd little flute.
Gloria had seen symbols similar to the rune before and she knew that they had all been some kind of protection. As for the flute, she was not sure, but she had no doubt about it being special.
By now, the sun was rising, and soon the museum would open. Fearing the visions that would come, Gloria wouldn't sleep, but she still had to retreat from the museum.
Day 2 - 18:00
This evening, things would be a tad more difficult. A gala was taking place in the museum and the guests staying late into the night would make it impossible for her to use her pistol without causing unwanted questions.
Determined not to be stopped, Gloria joined the conspicuous guests. She tried to warn some of them, but even those who seemed open to the unusual shunned at her words. But as she looked through the great hall, Gloria discovered another glowing rule, and lying below it a hitherto unnoticed piece of parchment. Unravelling, Gloria discovered that it described a spell and with only little hardship, she deciphered the "Voice of Ra".
While she had not been able to convince the guests, her appearance had seemed to have made some impact as the guests left earlier than originally planned. A side-effect that was more than welcome to Gloria.
Day 2 - 21:00
For her next move, Gloria decided to come clear with herself. The lack of sleep was taking its toll and she knew she had to do something about it soon.
Thus, she sat down on a bench and began to meditate, probing her mind for the strength to fight off the visions.
As Gloria's mind drifted through the visions and what has happened so far, she was able to calm down quite a bit, but some uneasiness remained. She recalled what she had learned about the museum while talking to the guests at the gala and when she searched the hall, and her successes gave her the confidence to fend of all those ghosts except for one, a curtain of flames, from which a small figure was approaching her.
She realized that it was the thing called a fire vampire and recalling secrets from old occult tomes, she made a gesture that banished the fiend. As the flames disappeared, only a slightly scorched scroll remained.
As Gloria rose from her meditation, she found another rune glowing where she had been sitting, and next to her lay a slightly scorched scroll, looking exactly as in her vision. Shuddering, Gloria unravelled it and found it to contain the spell "Cloudy Memory".
Day 3 - 0:00
The clock outside struck midnight as Gloria continued her investigation of the museum. A warm, yellow glow attracted her, and as she approached it, she saw that it came from a closet whose door had been slightly open. That was odd as she had been told that the key to the closet had been lost long ago.
With some dread, Gloria approached it. The light was glowing blindingly strong and Gloria had to be careful not to stumble. And as she approached it, wind was beginning to blow. Initially, it was but a faint breeze, but it grew more and more until Gloria was nearly unable to stand against its force.
She made protective gestures, but while they reduced the onslaught of the wind, she could not overcome it. In despair, Gloria unravelled the Voice of Ra, and as she invoked it, the wind ceased. As things turned quiet again, the scroll that had contained the Voice of Ra crumbled to dust that fell to the floor.
Looking around, Gloria noticed that the wind, that had been so forceful had not moved a single exhibit. Everything was in its place - except for an odd tome that was lying on the floor. Intrigued, she knelt down and as she read the title, she shuddered. It was the fabled "Necronomicon".
She decided to take it with her as it might be useful later, but she also dreaded it, fearing that relying too much on it would cause her doom. She had heard too many tales about those who had studied it and whose minds had been devoured by it.
A creaking sound startled her, and she realized that the light that came from the closet was now a faint green glow.
Day 3 - 3:00
Gloria decided not to investigate that green glow further at the moment. Instead, she turned towards the exhibits.
Moonlight was streaming through the ornate windows, and it seemed as if the shadows were moving on their own.
Suddenly, one of the shadows rose and turned against Gloria. Automatically, she drew her gun and fired it and as it failed to have any effect, she hurled it at the figure.
The shadow continued forward, but while fear was holding her in a stranglehold, Gloria stood her ground. She was determined to face the foe.
And then the shadow faded away. All that remained was the moonlight shining through the windows and two mystic runes burning on the floor where the ornaments of the windows converged.
Gloria sank to her knees. When she got up after a while, she decided to call it a day and return home.
Day 3 - 18:00
Having rested, Gloria returned to the museum with a clear goal in mind. During her previous explorations, she had noticed that some walls are thicker than they needed to be. The twisted architecture of the museum had been hiding it rather well, but using all her insights from the previous nights, Gloria finally found what had to be the main focus of the oddity.
Searching the wall, she finally came upon a hidden lever, which unlocked a hidden door. Behind the door, she found a passage that was much older than the museum leading into the ground.
However, the passage ended in a small, empty room. Disappointed, Gloria turned around and then noticed the protective runes glowing above the entrance. There were two of them, and they were giving her hope.
Day 3 - 21:00
Returning to the souvenir shop at the entrance, Gloria skimmed through it. She was delighted to find the key to the administrative office there. Her friend had granted her free access to the museum, but somehow, he had not deemed it necessary to give her access to that room.
Day 4 - 0:00
Unlocking the office, Gloria sighed, looking at the cabinets filled with files. There were bound to be documents about all transactions and all goings and comings, but the ways of the bureaucrats were much arcaner than anything that the occult tomes of old contained.
Still, Gloria braced herself and searched through the files, finding an interesting tidbit here and an interesting tidbit there.
Finally, she decided that she had found all that was meaningful here and left the room again.
Day 4 - 3:00
As Gloria closed the door of the office and locked it, she was startled by the sound of something heavy falling to the ground. Her heart beating wildly, she headed into the great hall where the noise had come from.
A figure was lying in front of an open show-case. A man Gloria had never seen before and whose dirty appearance made her confident that he had been a thief trying to steal from the museum.
How he had entered, Gloria didn't know as the doors were usually locked. But that was not as interesting to her as the fact that the corpse's skin was pale blue.
It was rather unnerving, but Gloria fought for composture and finally bent down to turn the corpse around and search him. As she did so, she found the task more taxing than she had expected as the man was unnaturally heavy.
In his hand, she saw a small, bizarre figurine.
Knowing no other means to help herself, Gloria skimmed through the necronomicon. There was a sketch of a figurine quite similar to the one the dead man held. Reading the surrounding text, she found that it was an idol of Nyarlahotep, the messenger and guardian of the outer gods and he of a thousand masks.
Nyarlahotep, that name resounded with her memories. Gloria remembered that it had been whispered in some of her visions, faintly, hardly noticable. Was that her adversary?
On a whim, Gloria placed her foot on the figurine. Increasing the pressure, she pushed down until she felt it crack. And then, the resistance fainted.
As she raised her foot, the figurine had turned to dust. And not only that, the unfortunate thief also began to turn into blue dust and finally faded away into nothingness.
And as there was no more trace of the incident to be found, a faint blueish glow slowly appeared on the floor - one, no two of the protective runes Gloria has been seeing so often by now.
Day 4 - 18:00
As Gloria returned to the museum, she felt sure to have solved the puzzle. The thing that she had been warned in her dreams about was Nyarlahotep, something that must never be unleashed. At the same time, those protective runes seemed to be a response to Nyralahotep's nearing arrival. Gloria had a gut feeling that getting enough of these runes activated could fend off the grave danger she and probably the rest of the world was in.
Trying to go at things systematically, Gloria searched through the souvenir shop. Or rather, she searched the room of the souvenir shop. She had noticed some patterns in the extraordinary experiences she had had, and she felt sure she would find another rune somewhere in this very room.
Finally, she noticed something scratched in the wall underneath one of the tables. Kneeling down, she cleared away the dust, and as she did, the rune started to glow in a faint blue light.
Gloria would have leapt for joy had not the table been forcing her down.
Day 4 - 21:00
Gloria decided to continue searching through the trinkets in the souvenir shop until she was convinced that the answer to everything lay within the odd closet.
Day 5 - 0:00
Taking all her courage, Gloria opened the glowing closet. She couldn't see anything because of the blue light, but boldly, she stepped forward.
And then she was falling, falling through the void. She had dreamed about this before. It was an abyss that lay between the worlds. Shadowy things approached her, tried to touch her, but were scared of her lantern. Gloria shivered at the thought what would have happened if she had not brought it with her.
Once, she saw the figure of a man, approaching her, menacingly, but with an effort of will, she was able to steer away from him. And as he faded into the blackness behind her, she noticed something glittering ahead. Coming closer, she found it to be a tiny statue connected to a silver chain that was wrapped around a scroll. As she touched them, she felt herself yanked backwards. Desperately, she grabbed the scroll with the statue, and then she found herself sitting in a dusty closet, her lantern shiny into its corners.
On the ceiling, a rune glowing faintly was forming. And as it was finally completed, the entire building shook and an unearthly howl filled the rooms, forcing Gloria to cover her ears. And then there was silence.
The air felt fresh and light, as if a heavy sheet smothering her had been lifted. At that moment, Gloria understood that the great danger had been averted. She knew no one would believe her and no one would praise her, but that didn't matter to her. After all, there was still the future ahead of her.
Excellent session report! Thanks!