I release my anger through writing.
My editor has been hounding me for days, weeks maybe. "We need a scoop." he keeps telling me. "Noone reads newspapers anymore." he complains. Yeah yeah yeah, we've heard it all before. And as usual it's up to intrepid photojournalist Darrel Simmons, at your service, to save the day.
The town was buzzing with rumours about someone sighting a goat-like creature in the woods in the south. Also, something strange was happening at Independence Square. My hunch, however, was leading me towards a dark and mysterious place, aptly named.. The Unnamable. Quite inventive that. Never having really grasped the layout of the town I brought a map with me. Not really something that screams out "street-wise", especially not when you're a reporter, but I've found that it lets me get from A to B just that much quicker. And speed is essential in my trade.
My hunch as it was, was quite magnificent. I was poking around there, asking the locals some questions or two, and I did get some vague leads about the recent disappearances, and appearances, in our lovely town of Arkham. It was a eerie glimmer that made me move off the beaten path and then... strangeness happened. It was as if Arkham, in fact the entire world, blinked, rolled and snapped out of my view, and was replaced by something else. I found myself suddenly in a hot and humid climate that made sweat break out all over my skin. The landscape was flat, void of features, yet behind the stirring air I sensed real movement.
I was lost and bewildered and began to walk aimlessly, shouting out for help. I was utterly perplexed by all of this. In the distance I saw the hint of a redheaded female and I began walking towards her, but somehow I lost my way, strange as that may seem. I don't know for how long I was there, but then, as suddenly as I had arrived there, I was back in Arkham, just where I had left. But I wasn't alone there in the corner of the Unnamable anymore. A hideous creature was skulking next to what I can only describe as some sort of floating doorway, through which I hinted that void landscape I had just somehow escaped.
I'll never understand what sort of madness gripped me, but near that infernal doorway was a tree uprooted by a recent storm, only barely standing up by its last tender grips on mother earth. I've interviewed a few veterans from the Great War, and they've described feeling like this, gripped by sudden rage, going berserk like the Vikings of far away in time and space Scandinavia of old. I rushed the tree, pushing against it with all my might and it loosened and fell and crushed the gate. I felt triumphant at first, but then the beast turned on me and... horror gripped my heart.
Catholisism is something that runs in my family, I'm afraid. And my mother is a sucker for trinkets of all sorts, and it so happened that in one of my pockets was a small glass bottle I'd been given her earlier this day. It was all I could find to throw at the beast charging me. The glass broke and... lo and behold, the water within made the beast instantly slow down, and then with a scream fall down to the ground, writhing in pain. If only I had saved some of that holy water!
Alas, I was near tears, my mind unable to fathom what I had just seen. My balance faltered and I stumbled forward, and then, again, found myself in a strange and terrible place. This time, a sort of building, or a cave. I could see the walls but they seemed to be near the horizon, and the ceiling was only hinted behind the darkness. What manner of creature that lived here, what manner of being had built this? A cold wind swept through the place, and on it rode a piece of parchment. On instinct I catched it. The page was filled with letters I could not understand, yet I was able to read. They glowed, flared, and for a moment they blinded me. But as I regained my sight, and found the parchment gone, something had changed within me. A sense of... power, that I had never felt before.
I began walking, and came close upon some sort of altar. I was about to approach and explore, when from behind the altar rose a meaty stalk, crowned by an unblinking eye that seemed to look everywhere at once. My newfound powers be damned, I turned and ran, and lucky me, for again I found myself rushing through the Unnamable. I hesitated, looked behind me, and saw the same sort of construction again, a dimensional doorway, shimmering. You might think I'd leave it be this time, but no. During my travels I had learned a thing or two, and the stars were right, and so I mumbled softly, concentrating, and I could feel the gate closing, and then see that it in fact did close, and the rift between our world and that one was sealed.
Elated, I finally escaped the Unnamable, eager to speak to my editor about this. But no, it was not to be. On the streets I was acosted by a man wearing a filthy robe, and when I tried to ignore him he grew violent. His hood fell back and I could see that while this might have been a man once, he was no longer. He charged and I had to defend myself. There were no witnesses to this action, but his blood was on my hands.
The town was different now. People were afraid, hurried, and there was talk about some citizens selling all their belongings right there on the street, fleeing for the countryside as soon as they had unburdened their valuables. I felt a need to help, but first I had to tend to myself. My mind was weakened by these burdens, so I hurried towards the Asylum. A bit of laudanum and a good night's sleep was what I needed.
When I awoke the next morning I felt stronger than ever before. I hurried outside and headed straight for the general store. The owner offered me a shotgun and a rifle. Both were exquisite pieces of armament, but despite my economic situation (the newspaper pays well) I only bought the rifle. One gun is more than enough for any man. Just as I exited the store it so happened that I glancd down and found there an old journal. I flicked it through quickly and then pocketed it, on the off chance that it would prove useful later. It was also then that I happened upon a fellow reporter. Apparently my editor had had enough of my failures to meet his precious deadline, and I had been sacked.
No matter, I had plenty of money, and now I was even more determined to see this through to the end.
I headed towards the Silver Twilight Lodge to poke around some. Mysterious things were happening, and the Lodge was not above suspicion in my mind. Some of the members there did indeed provide me with strange tidings, information that could very well prove useful. And there also luck stroke again, a forgotten ruby pendant was lieing at a table. Not that I needed it for the money, but its power called out to me so I pocketed the thing. Just to be safe.
Wheter it was my act of theft or not, but again the world snapped out of shape around me, and there I was, in another unknown place. It was a great and bustling city, but everyone there were out of focus, as if looking through a grimy camera lens. I tried to keep myself unnoticed, but it didn't help. A monster leaped on me, but my rifle was ready. The blast almost deafened me, but atleast the creature was dead. Again I glimpsed that redhead beauty and I moved towards her, but my path was interrupted by another abominable creature. The rifle spoke again, and silenced that monster forever.
I moved for the familiar shape, and then found myself in Arkham, but not at the Twilight Lodge where I had disappered, but rather I had came back at the Witch House, a place I normally would avoid like the plague. There too was a creature skulking, the same sort that I had encountered at the Unnamable. I was hungry for revenge, remembering the shattering blow to my sanity I had suffered before. With a mad cackle I blasted the gate shut and then turned my rifle on the being from beyond, tracing its entrails across the landscape as hole after hole erupted in its vile skin from each squeeze of the trigger.
The streets were now even more filled with panicing citizens. Something was... awakening. That was what I could feel. A presence was in the city, or beyond, just barely out of sight. Listening in on an excited couple talking I gathered that another of these doors were at the Historical Society. I rushed towards it. Surely there was someting connecting all of this. But these gates could be closed! If they're closed then whatever is beyond them cannot come here. If only more would understand. I sensed more than saw the gate and I threw myself headlong into it, stumbling into yet another unfamiliar landscape.
I did not even have time to get my bearings before I was, again, in Arkham. Or perhaps this wasn't Arkham? Impossible. It was and then it wasn't. The redhead was there, dismounting a motorcycle whilst unholstering a magnificent .45 automatic.
"It's awake." she whispered, and then startled as she noticed me. "We're doomed." she said, her voice steady, her gaze cold. I shivered and we both turned to face... it. "Yog-Sothoth." she said and the thing moved towards us. We began to back away, firing our guns, screaming out in horror, anger, despair. But it came closer and closer and we knew we were lost, and the city, perhaps the world with us.
Awesome post and thanks for putting this into a story format. This reads just like an HP Lovecraft story and I think is how the game is meant to be visualized when you play. Adds so much more depth than just thinking of picking up a clue token from the board.