I always take this game in my ruck sack on business trips. At the Pentagon this week, so I sat down to play a game last evening. Really enjoyed the decision making and theme. Some folks point to the lack of a story, but I think the point of the various cards is to suggest a story to the player. We just need to fill in the details. Here are some of the notes I wrote as I played and imagined the story...
The Arkham Police have contacted me and privately asked me to assist them investigating two gruesome murders at Miskatonic University. Mr. Joel Manton, a history professor, and Miss Asenath Waite, a student, were found murdered two days ago. I agreed to work with them, in part because I suspected that they were suspicious of me.
I began my investigation by surreptitiously following Moses Sargent, a servant at the Waite estate. After a few days of this tiresome pursuit, I was irresistibly pulled to the streets of Arkham and spent most of a night walking and thinking. Something about the grounds I had walked bothered me.
The next morning, I headed to the police station to examine the evidence they had on the Manton murder. I was horrified at what they showed me—an otherworldly tentacle that looked as if it had been detached from some unnamable creature. That afternoon, my nerves were strained even more when I returned to the Waite estate to follow my hunch and discovered a shallow grave near the rear fenceline. It was full of children’s bones.
I decided to consult my mentor, Dr. Armitage. It took half a day to get him to get to the point, but the old man shared with me his concerns about complex angles built into Joel Manton’s apartment. Armitage theorized that the nonstandard angles were intended to support some sort of interdimensional gate that may have led to the professor’s demise. I returned to the slain man’s former apartment and surveilled the alley behind it.
I returned to the Miskatonic University Library to research the mystery of the angles. My studies directed me to Meadow Hill—evidently a focus for the interdimensional energies Manton--or someone--may have been experimenting with. I also spoke with Mr. Paul Dombroski, Manton’s former landlord. He informed me that he had recently asked Manton to change apartments, because he needed to conduct extensive repairs on his former rooms. I collected my notes from my interview and research and headed back home for the evening.
The next day I returned to the Waite estate and spoke to the servants, whose description of the young Asenath’s recent disturbing personality change further unnerved me. I began to fear that she’d been connected to the dead children buried at her home. Later, I wandered the estate and came upon an exotic, spiky figure that someone had discarded near a fire pit.
That evening, as I sipped brandy to steady my nerves, I read through old police reports and came upon a story about child kidnappings that have occurred on a cyclical basis every seven years at Arkham. My hand shook with fear at the implications.
I returned to Manton’s old apartment and showed my credentials to get in. Near the dead man’s bed, I found a shiny pair of his shoes peaking out from under the spread. As I bent down to retrieve them, I noticed small hand prints on the floor. What could this mean?
The next morning, I asked the police to accompany me to a cave complex I had discovered adjacent to the Waite grounds. I showed the deputy the notes I had collected about the child disappearances, and I concluded to him that this was the pit of the shoggoths referred to in ancient tomes in the library. He raised his eyes in disbelief but advised me to take my theory to the chief.
I headed to the police station and spent an hour with the chief of police. I related to him that my tailing of Moses Sargent had led me to discover the shallow grave filled with the bones of children. Miss Asenath’s odd behavior in the weeks before her murder, along with the bizarre artifact I had found, had led me to research the city’s history of children gone missing every seven years. The evidence found in the shoggoth pit made it clear to me—if not to a jury or district attorney—that Miss Waite had been involved in a terrible conspiracy. I theorized that someone had concluded she knew too much, and he or she had the woman killed to secure her silence.
Having satisfied myself concerning the murder of Asenath Waite, I was shocked to hear that a child named Ladislav Wolejko had been found murdered and his body dumped next to the river the night before.
Before agreeing to look into this latest tragedy, I returned home just as my phone was ringing. I picked up the receiver and heard an odd, repeating sound. It reminded me of a slavering animal. “Hello?” I said. The line clicked off.
I phoned the police chief and related my theory concerning Professor Joel Manton’s demise. I proposed to him that Manton had likely become aware of the cult involved in the disappearance of children. I suspected that Manton had tried to shield the runaway Wolejko boy from the cult by hiding him in his apartment. My interview with Paul Dombroski, the man’s landlord, revealed that Manton had been forced to move from one apartment to the one he most lately lived in—the one with the complex, unnatural angles. I told the chief that the cult’s meeting place at or near Meadow Hill had been the launching point for a deliberate murder. The unknown assailant had been transported through a gate from Meadow Hill into Manton’s apartment. It was clear to me that the same night Manton had been murdered, young Ladislav had been kidnapped.