The Society

Curse of the Cumberland Star
March 1920

The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear
– Daniel Defoe

[The Society] had taken an interest in the diamond, the Cumberland Star and its reputation for being cursed. Rumor has been that madness, tragedy, and death have befallen the Cumberland family because of the curse. With the family throwing a gala reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the family having acquired the stone, [The Society] had chosen this time to investigate.

Local members Del Nightengale and Edward Monteblanc III were joined by three others who were dispatched by their respective Chapterhouses.

After sifting through a lengthy history of madness and murder, the investigators were able to trace the stone back to a small cult from India, छोटे-छोटे शैल (the cult of the Small Crawler). Long believed to have been wiped out by another Indian cult, the Thugee, it was uncovered that the cult of the Small Crawler was still most definitely active and planning to sacrifice young Christine Cumberland in a dark ritual.

Bursting in on the cultists, the members of [The Society] managed to dispatch two of the cultists (one of whom was revealed to be Arthur Cumberland) and managed to capture a third, who was handed over to the authorities. The current whereabouts of the Cumberland Star are unknown.

It is suspected that members of the Thugee cult of India may also have been operating in the area. One of their agents, known only as Krisha, had been serving Arthur for twenty years. What plans he may have had are wholly unknown.

Despite the disruption of the ritual, the unknown whereabouts of the Cumberland Star have forced [The Society] to classify this case as still open.

The Mystery of Marshaw Manor
June 1920

“The house doesn’t care what’s fair, who lives or dies. Know why? Cause it’s a fucking house!”
- Watson Pritchett, House on Haunted Hill (1959)

[The Society] has discovered that a series of disappearances in the area around Marshaw Manor date back to the 1868 when Iberia Parish (which bisects St Martin Parish) was created. If disappearances go back further, no records have been presented. Marshaw Manor backs up against the Teche Bayou, a 125 mile long waterway that stretches from Port Barre to the Lower Atchafalaya River in Patterson. The area has a long and bloody history, including much fighting during the US Civil War.

The bayou is also home to a great deal of secretive worship. The area surrounding Parks houses several small Vodouisant cults as well as a worshiper of Yig, and several followers of the “Dark One.” The warring between these groups had raised something ancient out of the swamps, and it thirsted for blood. With the founding of Parks in 1900, more people moved into the area and the disappearances became more frequent. Now, close to 200 people live in the village, but they all avoided the area around Marshaw Manor.

Marshaw Manor had become the lair of an angry elemental being from the Bayou. As Voodoo magic intertwined with the forces of the mythos, a creature was created that has haunted the bayou for over 50 years. The creature had hunted and killed unwary travelers, as well as the residents of the manor. Recently it had remained quiet, slumbering within the cellar, lying in a muck filled, flooded area. The arrival of new the investigators, of course, gradually brought it back to wakefulness. With the help of local lore provided by the residents of the General Store’s porch, the team managed to draw the creature into a trap and, in a single fiery strike, destroyed both the Marshaw Monster and the manor-house.

Interlude - Loveland, OH 1972
July 1972

“Down by the lazy river, come as you please
Down by the lazy river, one big family
If you’re all alone You won’t be long”

– The Osmonds, Down by the Lazy River (1972)

Loveland isn’t a really exciting place to grow up, with a feel that is more of a small town than city. 1972 though, this year is different. There have been two sources of excitement this year. Most recently is that local resident Maureen Detro is going to be competing in the Summer Olympics. The other is the recent sightings of the Loveland Frogman back in March.

On March 3, Officer Matthews claimed to have seen a four-foot-tall frog-faced human-like creature with leathery skin, on the road near Loveland. It jumped over a rail and into the Little Miami River. Two weeks later, officer Mark Mathews saw it again, lying in the road. He even got out of his car and fired shots at it.

That made a huge commotion in town. Investigators from the State Police came out, and even two people from the FBI. All of them were investigating the scene and looking for clues. The monster got away though. Nobody had seen it since. Until five friends saw it attack one of their friends, while swimming in the Little Miami river.

Knowing that their parents would never believe them, the children mustered their courage to confront this mysterious threat. Teaming up with a mysterious drifter, who told them the legend of the Shawnahooc, the kids managed to track the creature to a cavern beneath the Indian mounds of Fort Ancient.

Not waiting for their companion, John Clearwaters, to find them, the children entered the cave and went into battle with the Loveland Frogman. Killing it, the children brought an end to the terror that has stalked Loveland.

Lost in the Forest of Fear
July 1920

“The spirit of man can endure only so much and when it is broken only a miracle can mend it"
– John Burroughs

On July 1st, tales of a “glowing airship” came from the area south of the San Bernardino National Forest. Reports ranged from 100 miles north of the forest, to the small community of Idyllwild (within the southern forest itself).

Famed naturalist, and member of [The Society] John Burroughs was in the area and reported that he would investigate further and report his findings. Witness statements track his movements as far as Idyllwild on July 5th. He had stated that he planned on hiking south along the airship’s trajectory.

The last reported sighting of Mr. Burroughs was made by a ranger in a fire-watch tower on July 7th, claiming to have seen a man and some children hiking near the Morongo Reservation; roughly 25 miles from Burroughs’ last known whereabouts.

After hiring a local guide, John Clearwaters, The investigators set off into the woods in an attempt to locate the missing author. Finding his trail they soon found signs of pursuit by small, child-sized, assailants. Their guide believed these to be followers of the “Tauquitch”, a demon of local legend. Knowing Burroughs to be in danger, the investigators plunged into the forest, traveling for over a day into the wilderness.

The morning of the second day, the team awoke to find themselves in what appeared to me a more primordial version of the forest. Signs that they too were now being pursued forced them to shelve discussion on this matter. Eventually they came upon a low Indian mound. Tracks showed that Burroughs had been dragged into the mound and so the team gave chase. Carefully avoiding the small residents of the caves, the group found themselves in a large natural cave, in the center of which was a dark pool surrounded by flickering torches and carved stone.

The group took the time to examine the carvings before being interrupted by the approach of several natives, dragging Burroughs towards the room as some sort of offering. A fight broke out in which several of the natives were killed and several of the team were injured. Of special note, one of the natives was a Shaman of some sort and hit Mr. Nightengale with a spell, causing one of his arms to wither to uselessness.

The team managed to escape, collapsing the tunnels of the cave behind them and escaping to the forest. With help from Burroughs, they managed to return to the waking world (for they had been trapped in a world of dreams) and made their way to the ranger station for aid.

Murder and Monsters in Mexico
August 1920

“The State is the altar of political freedom and, like the religious altar, it is maintained for the purpose of human sacrifice”
– Emma Goldman

On March 1st, a research team from the University of the newly emancipated National Autonomous University of Mexico stumbled across an archaeological site that could be one of the greatest finds in Mexico’s history. A pyramidal temple was found in the jungle, 40km west of Mexico City.

The team believed it to be a temple dedicated to the god Tezcatlipoca and, if correct, it would be the largest such temple ever found. The only other temple to the god Tezcatlipoca that is known was destroyed, the ruined foundations somewhere within Mexico City itself. Professor Juan Lopez and his team immediately began their initial excavation and exploration of the site, which was remarkably well preserved.

On the morning of August 4th, the team awoke to find much of their equipment missing or destroyed, and the body of Professor Lopez was lying at the base of the pyramid. Initial examination of the corpse has determined that the professor was attacked and killed by a Jaguar.
Still, it is all too much of a coincidence and so the team contacted the local authorities for assistance.

With the recent discovery of a link between the cult of the Small Crawler and the followers of Tezcatlipoca [The Society] cannot pass up this opportunity to learn more about this potential threat. The team journeyed to Mexico and made their way to the archaeological site. Once there the investigators made a careful study of the pyramid, peering into the various chambers and taking note. However, when they achieved the pyramid’s summit, they found the body of a recent sacrifice.

Now understanding that some sort of local religious activity must remain, the team began to get worried about the possibility of attack…but then things got REALLY strange. The god Tezcatlipoca appeared to the team in a dream, offering to make them a deal…and at least one of them took it.

Several items of note were destroyed, which lead to an attack by the cultists on a day where the sun never rose. Victorious over the jungle cultists, the team lead the archaeologists away from the site and to safety as a massive earthquake rocked the pyramid, crumbling it to its foundations.

Interlude - Loveland, OH 1955
May 14, 1955

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” – Marcus Aurelius

At least the weather was nice. That is, if you consider a night full of thunder, lightning, and rain to be “nice”. Still, the weather kept the crazies inside; at least it kept most of them in. Then there was the call, somebody claimed to have seen “monsters” beneath the Hopewell Road Bridge, outside of town. The rookie was sent out there with a radio car, and when he called in, he died screaming.

The remaining officers on duty showed up to the scene to investigate what they thought was a practical joke. They found the rookie’s body, but not his head. From beneath the bridge, a group of strange tracks clawed up the embankment and into the mud. Despite the weather (or perhaps because the weather would rapidly destroy any evidence) the officers took into pursuit. Things got ugly.

First they sighted one of the reported creatures, a reptilian “frogman” loping through the woods. Then they discovered signs of its intelligence by falling into on of its traps, a pit lined with spikes. Shots were fired, blood was spilled, still the creatures fled through the forest. Finally the creatures were tracked to a small cave entrance.

The cave’s passages were oddly disturbing, twisting at strange angles, doubling back on themselves and creating a disorienting nightmare. Still, the officers tracked the creatures into a large cave and attacked the Frogmen. One frogman escaped, as did one officer…who was hopelessly insane.

Kults in Kentucky
August 26, 1920

“Well, kinsmen, let us resolve any questions or doubts which you may have about that viper emanating hiss.” – Robert E. Miles

Restful Recovery
Silent Night
Dec 24, 1920

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