Story

RECAP
In Part 1, Clotho: Fate of the Ancients, the investigators began an investigation of a small-time hood named Mark Ridley. Going on a clue found in a letter provided to them by an old friend, Bill Drake, they observed Ridley exchanging something with a man named Montgomery Andram in a local park late at night. Tracing Ridley throughout the city, they met his acquaintance, Sammy, the hobo, at Union Station. They learned of a series of artifacts Ridley was supposed to supply to a cult known as the Pazu-Kanpa. They eventually discovered Ridley’s withered body in the basement of a house, victim of powerful occult magic.

In Part 2, Lachesis: The Hand of Fate, the investigators continue the investigation when Bill Drake reveals that his real name is Bill Darren. He admits that he knows of the Pazu-Kanpa, and that they know of him. After a near escape from some cultists on the streets of downtown Denver, the investigators find Andram’s dead body in his home. Andram’s cleaning lady, Emma Garson, points out Andram’s bible, where the investigators find a long, agonized letter by Andram, whose real name turns out to be Eliot Clay. The letter tells of an as yet undiscovered artifact called The Wisdom of the Messenger, saying that only one person knows where it can be found. It also tells of the ‘Kanpa’s plans to bring a new strain of bubonic plague, and reveals the location of their secret laboratory. The investigators go to the lab, where they are tied and left to the mercy of starving rats. They escape in the nick of time and destroy the plague bacteria, putting an end to the cult’s immediate plans.

Part 3 picks up the trail a couple of days later.

BILL DARREN
One of the investigators receives a very excited phone call from Bill Darren. Darren says he thinks he’s figured out where the Wisdom of the Messenger is hidden, but that he must do some last-minute checking. He won’t give details over the phone, saying that he is calling from a public place and it isn’t safe. He arranges to meet the investigators that night at a local coffeeshop. As he hangs up, he says that the cultists are pursuing him and that he’s in danger. If he doesn’t show up to the meeting, he tells the investigator to go to his house. But he warns the investigator to be very careful, since it’s possible that the ‘Kanpa knows where he lives.

Bill Darren does not show up at the coffeeshop. The investigators go to his house, and find no one at home. The door is not locked, and they go in. The house is empty and looks undisturbed. The light on the telephone answering machine blinks. The investigators listen to the messages. One from Darren’s boss, who sounds very angry and intimidating, tells Darren that if he doesn’t show up to work he will be fired. Then comes a blank message: it sounds like someone called and then hang up. Then comes the voice of Bill Darren himself.

He sounds out of breath, as if he were wounded or running, or both. He speaks quickly. "Stop them. They are going to summon Pazuzu. The ceremony is at Apex. The Wisdom. Mr. Bushman knows. Collar. The cleaning woman. Atro...." The message goes dead. It is the last they ever see or hear of Bill Darren.

MR BUSHMAN
The investigators contact Eliot Clay’s cleaning woman, Emma Garson. She tells them that she took Mr. Bushman, Clay’s bassett hound, to the Dumb Friends League for adoption. He has been there for a couple of days.

At the Dumb Friends League offices, they encounter a cheerful secretary. When they ask about a recently acquired basset hound, she becomes exasperated. "Why is everyone so interested in that dog?" she asks. She reveals that less than half an hour ago, a group of rather intimidating men were in looking for the same dog. Luckily for the investigators, she hasn’t put away the files yet, so she knows just where to find the information they want. She tells them that the dog has been adopted by a farm family in a town about an hour away. She says that it’s against the rules to give out the addresses of adopting families, but since she was frightened into giving it to the other men, she’ll give it to the investigators as well. As the investigators leave, she wishes them good luck, saying she didn’t like the other men, and hopes the investigators get to the dog first.

Rushing to catch up to the cultists, who seem to be on the same trail, the investigators leave for the farm. When they arrive in distant Longmont, they see no sign of the cultists. They approach what they believe to be the correct farmhouse, and are greeted by the not-too-friendly Farmer Jones. He asks what they want. Meanwhile, Farmer Jones’s brother approaches from a nearby barn, with a pitchfork.

The investigators barely get time to ask for the dog, when the cultists show up. Armed to the teeth, the cult leader (the same one from the laboratory scenario in the previous game) demands that Farmer Jones turn over the dog. Farmer Jones seems about to acquiesce, then produces a shotgun from behind the door and begins to fire. A large gun battle ensues, during which all the cultists get hit and Farmer Jones is taken out, too. When the dust settles, the investigators are sill alive. They find Mr. Bushman in a barn, blissfully unaware of all the trouble he has caused. On his collar are two interesting items: a very odd key with a number stamped on it, and a small brass dog ID barrel with a slip of paper rolled up inside. The slip of paper has a note from Eliot Clay, reading: "One who seeks wisdom should take the key to Andrew Leman."

THE BANK
"Andrew Leman" turns out to be a total stranger, who at first doesn’t have the slightest idea what the investigators are talking about when the mention Mr. Bushman, the ‘Kanpa, etc. When they mention Eliot Clay by name, however, he remembers. He tells them that he was an academic colleague of Eliot Clay’s about three years earlier, and that he agreed to co-lease a safe-deposit box at a local bank with Clay, as part of Clay’s research project. Clay took both keys, however, and Leman has never used the box. The investigators manage to convince him to help them, and he finds his old records giving the name and location of the bank. They agree to meet there at a mutually convenient time.

At the bank, Leman goes in, signs the register, and authorizes the investigators to accompany him into the vault.

Inside the safe-deposit box the investigators find nothing but papers written by Clay. There are journal entries telling of his involvement with the ‘Kanpa, and a list of all its members. There are horrifying photos of ceremonies in progress, and other incriminating and anthropologically interesting information. There is also a letter about The Wisdom of the Messenger, which reads:

"If you are reading this then I am dead and the Pazu-Kanpa is growing in desperation. I should quickly tell you where I have hidden the Wisdom of the Messenger so that you can find it and stop them before it is too late. But I have no guarantee that you are not a member of the Pazu-Kanpa who has found this box. I have no guarantee that you are not the very same insane cultist who killed me with your knife or your gun or your magic. So I will not tell you where it is. I told Mr. Bushman. He knows. He directed you here.... I have thought of only one solution. I will say where the Wisdom of the Messenger is. If you are a good man, you may use what I say to retrieve it and turn it against the Pazu-Kanpa. If you are an evil man, my directions will be useless to you. To find the Wisdom of the Messenger, you must first wait until dark. After dark, but before midnight, you must then go up. Go up to a rooftop, or to the upper floors of a building, or to a hill in the city. When you have gone up above the obstacles at night somewhere in the city, look to the west... and you will see the Wisdom of the Messenger. If you are a good man you will see where I have hidden it. If you are an evil man, a member of the Pazu-Kanpa, the sight of it will burn your eyes and you will not be able to find it. But if you are good you will see it. It is in the right hand of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, where it will be protected. Once you have seen where I have hidden it, you can find it if you look. I wish you good luck. —Eliot Clay"

Also in the safe-deposit box is a map to an isolated mountain town called Apex, and a document describing a ceremony to summon Pazuzu. In this document are some magic words that can be used, along with the Wisdom of the Messenger, to banish Pazuzu back beyond the gate.

Andrew Leman does not care about any of the papers, and is willing to let the investigators take them. He insists, however, that they surrender the key to the safe deposit box.

WISDOM
After reading the letter from the safe-deposit box, the investigators have a hunch where the Wisdom of the Messenger is hidden. They confirm it that night, when it grows dark. Finding a high place, they look west and see a huge cross, made of lights, shining on a distant mountainside. They have all seen it before: it is a familiar landmark in the area.

The next morning they make inquiries about the cross. It turns out to be a cemetery called Mount Lindo. They get directions.

At the foot of Mount Lindo is an imposing wrought-iron gate, through which they drive to ascend a curvy mountain road. At the top is a mausoleum and a small cemetery. Walking past the last graves and hiking a short way down the mountainside, they see the cross. In the daylight, it is nothing more than a large series of gigantic poles, some 20 or 30 feet in height, each topped with a large fluorescent lighting panel. When illuminated, the whole thing forms a cross of light about 50 yards wide and 80 yards long. They must climb about 100 yards down the steep mountainside to reach the crosspiece where the right hand of Jesus would be, and there find a large box. Inside is The Wisdom of the Messenger. It is a small piece of jewelry: a wicked-looking set of teeth, with very prominent canines, set in a sterling silver pendant with oak leaf designs. The pendant is hinged so that the jaws can open and close. It is on a chain. Taking their prize, the investigators return to their car and descend the treacherous mountain road again.

That night the investigators look over all the information they have acquired so far. Among the papers from the safe-deposit box is a description of the ceremony to summon Pazuzu. It reads, in part, as follows:

"The Pazu-Kanpa will not do this ceremony except in desperation.... Once Pazuzu is summoned they do not have much actual control over him... However, his actual presence, even for a very short time, is quite devastating enough, and something much to be feared.... If they ever were to do it I have learned it would require the presence of all of the high priests of the cult. Even those from Europe and Asia would have to be present, as the spell requires all the power they can muster, and no one but a high priest is capable of effectively performing it.

"The ceremony must take place in the dark of night, ideally not long after the solstice, when Marduk is not watchful. When Ursa Major is in the correct position for such magic to be permitted. The high priests will then prepare a sacred fire... by using the sacred bowls and the conjuration of IA ADU EN I, etc. Then they will raise a magical copper dagger and summon the assistance of Ninkharsag, Queen of Demons, Ninkaszi, the Horned Queen, and Ninnghizhidda, the Queen of the Magic Wand. When they have called upon these entities according to the correct form, they will be ready to summon Pazuzu. ...They will chant an invocation... When this invocation has been chanted with enough power three times, Pazuzu will appear. He will manifest himself above the sacred fire, and the high priests may then put questions to him or assign him his task. They cannot wield power over him for long, however, and when their strength fails they shall be at his mercy. If they lose control, the world shall likewise be at his mercy.

"There is only one hope of stopping this ceremony, since only a high priest of the ‘Kanpa may witness it. It is the Wisdom of the Messenger. ...When the high priests begin to call upon the magic queens, it is no longer safe to watch the ceremony. Anyone observing after that point runs a high risk of unrecoverable madness and insanity. Once the priests have finished the conjuration of IA ADU EN I, which ends with the words EKHI CTHULHU IA IA IA, the interloper must close his eyes and not open them again. ...It is especially important not to open the eyes when the priests have begun to summon Pazuzu himself. Only a high-priest of the Pazu-Kanpa can witness the horror which will manifest itself then and live. There are legends of mere statues of the demon which have killed men with fire and magic. These abominations are trifles compared to the power that will be released during this ceremony.

"To stop the ceremony...when the priests have finished summoning Pazuzu, when he is present above the sacred fire, but before he has been set at his task, at that point the interloper must strike. Being careful not to look upon the ceremony, he must raise the Wisdom of the Messenger up high...and shout loudly and with much force BARRA PAZUZU BARRA NA ZU ABSU. ...The interlopers, with eyes shut, still have much to fear. When the command has been shouted, lower the Wisdom as a partial charm against the wrath of the demon. The demon cannot resist the Wisdom when it is properly applied. If the interlopers act in time, Pazuzu will be compelled back beyond the gate."

As they pore over this document and other information they recovered from the safe-deposit box, the investigators catch a news brief on television. The first story tells of two local boys arrested in Peru, and a second story tells of the mysterious death of hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats all over the state. Authorities cannot explain the sudden deaths, and have no idea whether there will be more. The story ends with the reassurance that officials will be working round the clock to learn what happened.

APEX
Using the maps and a name found in the bank vault, the investigators find Apex, a tiny and virtually abandoned town in the hills about 45 minutes from the city. Down a dirt road they find the cabin of an old prospector named Jake Epson. After a brief confrontation, he acknowledges that he knows the valley where the "damned cultists" worship, and agrees to lead the investigators there.

Following Epson, the investigators hike over through the woods to a valley. As they enter a clearing, they hear some chanting in the distance. Following the sound down the valley, the investigators soon see a magic fire, around which several cultists walk and chant. Terrified, old Jake Epson leads the investigators to a tree stump to hide.

The investigators watch the proceedings, trying to correlate what they see with the ceremony as described in the papers left by Eliot Clay. They warn Jake Epson to close his eyes and not open them until they say it is safe to do so. Then, when the perceive that the cultists are beginning to summon the three Magic Queens, they close their eyes.

They hear the arrival of the three queens: a very eerie whistling. Then they hear the cultists chant the summoning of Pazuzu. When the cultists’ voices die out, they hear the arrival of the demon himself, Lord of Fevers and Plagues. It is a terrifying sound. Just after his arrival, in accordance with Clay’s instructions, they lift up the Wisdom of the Messenger and shout the exorcism.

The sounds which follow are extremely frightening. The cultists begin to scream, and within a split second Pazuzu begins to howl and wail, as it thrashes wildly in resistance to the banishment. Then, old Jake Epson, sitting right next the investigators, also screams horribly. After a few moments, all the sounds go away, and the valley is left in eerie stillness.

Slowly the investigators open their eyes. Pazuzu is not there. There is a charred ruin where Jake Epson used to be: they guess that he must have opened his eyes at the wrong time. They see at the bottom of the valley similar traces of the cultists and their magic fire. Much more noticeable, however, are three huge glowing shapes which hover some ten feet above the ground around the ceremony site. They are the three Magic Queens, not banished along with Pazuzu and not destroyed by his anger. They appear as faintly glowing, round shapes, floating in the air. After a few moments, each of the magic queens begins to rise up, and one by one they float away above the trees and into the night sky.