The Story

Each of the investigators receives the following invitation in the mail:

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"In recognition of your experience and proven ability as an investigator into matters pertaining to the occult, I ask you to attend a formal dinner and seance at my residence at 1717 E. Stanford Avenue, Englewood, Colorado, on the Twenty-Seventh of October, 1927, at eight o’clock p.m. I am certain that the evening will be most engaging, and an immediate R.S.V.P. would be greatly appreciated (in fact necessary). I look forward to your company.
Cordially,
(sig) Dr. Charles Twobears

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The guests arrived at Twobears’ mansion, where they were greeted by servants Max and Chalvers. The guests were all recognized occult investigators and authors, including the famous Helen Darla Breck, the wheelchair-bound author of several books. (Michael O’Grady, Mark Drudge, Roxy Ross, and Wally Forsythe were all characters from previous games with successful careers behind them.) Many of the guests were old friends who had shared adventures in the past, and as they enjoyed drinks they chatted. Suzie Author mentioned casually to some her recent trip to Austria.

When all the guests were assembled, Chalvers showed them into the dining room, where he and Max served up a formal dinner of game hens, vegetables, and Parker House rolls. (Thanks to Bonnie Leman for 1920s menu consultation.)

During dinner, Dr. Twobears began to explain to his guests the reason for his invitation. He told them that on a recent trip to Europe he had found himself in an abandoned castle where he had a frightening experience with a powerful supernatural force. He had inadvertently defiled a place sacred to an entity called Cython, and had barely escaped with his life. He told of finding a clay amulet in the subterranean dungeons of the castle, which he had taken with him but subsequently lost under harrowing circumstances. His tale was riveting and vividly told. Upon his return to the States, he found that he had been cursed by Cython, and that the malevolent spirit was now inhabiting his house: the very house that the guests were in. Even as he told the story, the lights occasionally flickered, and a frightening presence was definitely palpable in the room. He had summoned them all there to perform a seance to contact the spirit and banish it, if possible. After much questioning and discussion, the guests agreed to perform the seance.

(Max and Chalvers cleared the dinner plates and served a dessert of liqueur sundaes. As a bowl of ice cream was presented to Wally Forsythe, Dr. Twobears asked him if he’d like it topped with Grand Marnier. Pointing to another bottle, Forsythe replied, "No, thank you, Doctor. I think I’m hearing the call of Kalhua tonight.")

After dessert was over, the guests retired to the billiard room while the servants cleared the plates and prepared the dining room for the seance. The guests continued to chat among themselves while enjoying brandy and cigars. Some wondered if Twobears was entirely trustworthy, and some expressed hesitation at the thought of doing the seance. But when the room was prepared, everyone went back in.

Twobears, a renowned parapsychologist, conducted the seance. Mark Drudge insisted that Max and Chalvers join the circle, and so chairs were pulled up for them. The lights were dimmed and candles were lit. Everyone joined hands, and under Twobears’ direction, the voice of Cython was soon heard in the room, although no one could tell precisely where it was coming from. It had a strange, disembodied echoing quality. It responded to a few of Twobears’ questions, and then it became extremely threatening, warning that everyone at the table would be killed. Then Twobears was suddenly possessed by the spirit, shouting out at the guests, and was then thrown backwards out of his chair, breaking the circle. The guests leapt to their feet, and Chalvers restored the lights. Twobears was disoriented but unhurt, and everyone returned to the billiard room.

It seemed that the spirit of Cython had only been made more angry by the seance, as the lights began to flicker more violently. The guests discussed the seance. The voice had been hard to hear, but several people reported that they clearly heard the death threats. Everyone was upset and edgy. Suddenly the lights went out completely, and there was a scream from the wheelchair of Helen Darla Breck. Wally Forsythe, standing nearby, said he had felt a horrible gust of cold air brush past him. Twobears got some candles, and the group discovered that Mrs. Breck had vanished from her wheelchair. Unable to walk since taking a bullet to the spine years previously, it was assumed that she had not left under her own power. Twobears gave out candles, and asked the guests to search the house for Mrs. Breck while he attempted to restore the electricity. Splitting up into smaller groups, the guests began to search the house, but Mark Drudge returned to the billiard room and found Mrs. Breck in a hidden compartment beneath a built-in bench along one wall. Drudge shouted out that he’d found her, and the other guests streamed back into the room. The lights came back on, and it was plain to see that Mrs. Breck had been through some kind of ordeal. Her red hair was streaked with gray, and she was nearly catatonic with fear. She was returned to her wheelchair, and after a few minutes of recovery, she described the feeling of having been carried by some unseen power, and feeling supernaturally cold. She could not explain what had happened or how she ended up under the bench.

Suddenly, there was an urgent pounding at the door leading from the billiard room to the terrace. Several of the male investigators drew weapons, while Twobears went to answer the door. In burst Professor Nathaniel Ward, an occult investigator with an illustrious career known to most of the people in the room and a close friend of Twobears’. His sudden appearance was something of a shock, but he wasted no time with explanations. He quickly took Twobears aside and they had a whispered conversation, Ward showing Twobears a slip of paper on which something was written. Both men looked gravely concerned. Then Ward turned to the group and held up the slip of paper, and began to stare intently at each of the guests, ignoring their pointed questions as to what he was doing there. As he turned from one guest to the next, apparently looking for someone, suddenly the slip of paper in his fingers burst into flames, and he staggered backward and fell to the floor, much as Twobears had done at the end of the seance. Ward was knocked unconscious, however, and the mysterious slip of paper, whatever it was, was consumed by the fire.

Unable to revive Ward, the investigators searched his pockets and found other papers, which included a drawing of the very amulet of Cython which Twobears had described at dinner, and an incantation meant to banish Cython. Twobears told his guests what Ward had whispered to him: he had learned that the amulet had fallen into the possession of someone — someone in that very room — and that the slip of paper which had mysteriously burned had been a purchase document which might have proven that person’s identity. Suddenly everyone was suspicious of everyone else. The investigators examined the other documents found on Ward, and Twobears suggested that the group should perform the incantation of banishment. Wally Forsythe and Suzie Author refused to participate, but all the others agreed. Forsythe and Author went into the kitchen while the others, including Max and Chalvers, began the incantation. Suddenly, the investigators heard a crashing noise from the kitchen, and when they rushed in they found Author strangling Forsythe, with broken dishes on the floor. The group formed a circle around Author, who was clearly possessed by the demon Cython, and continued to chant. When Forsythe fell unconscious to the floor, Author turned on the group and pulled out the Amulet of Cython, which she had been carrying all night. She attempted to fight off the investigators, but their combined force was superior, and they could see she was weakening. Professor Ward woke up and joined the chanting group, and Author dropped the amulet, which shattered into pieces on the kitchen floor. When it broke, Cython’s hold on Author was broken, and he was banished from the house. Author collapsed, freed from the demon. The investigators rushed to help Author and Forsythe, who was not badly hurt.

After everyone was restored, Author told how she had been traveling in Austria and had seen the amulet in a curio shop and been strangely drawn to it. She had purchased it, and scarcely remembered anything since that time. Ward explained that he had previously heard of Twobears’ experience with the amulet in the castle dungeon, and when he had been tipped off by some contacts in Austria that the amulet had been seen in a curio shop he had investigated. When he found out who had bought it, he had rushed to warn Twobears.