Cthulhu Britannica

Edinburgh: In The Vaults

The investigators follow the passages below the city. With grim efficiency, they gun down the first person they meet. What murderous impulses drive humanity to such deeds?

They find a series of deserted rooms. It seems that Abyzou’s followers have made a base here for excavations.

A woman, Mary McTaggart, is discovered. She is weeping, distraught to be left behind by her companions on the verge of some great discovery. The clergyman orders her bound and gagged.

Using a map, the investigators travel deeper and deeper. They find the remnants of a bloody, terrible fight between the cult and monstrous, serpent-like humanoids. The Auld One tells them that they are too late to prevent the “awakening”.

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St Combs: Arrival

Douglas McKerrell, an American, has inherited the title of Laird of Strathbeg. His agent, John Robson, went ahead to visit the estate and reported back disturbing news. On the advice of Dr Albans at the EPS in Edinburgh, McKerrell engages the assistance of two seasoned occult investigators and a local doctor.

Together, they travel to St Combs, a small fishing town north of Aberdeen. McKerrell discovers that Robson apparently left the local inn, “The Sigil”, where he was staying. The publican, Duncan Calder, is friendly and generous with the local whisky but can provide no helpful information about Robson’s whereabouts.

Markus breaks into the local fish cannery. It appears that the harbour master, Connor Andrews, is taking detailed records of his workers and other visitors to the town.

The investigators explore the ruined castle of Strathbeg. Markus is assaulted and pursues his attacker to the boat house by the loch. The discover a hidden temple and gun down the worshippers inside.

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St Combs: Meeting the locals

Returning from the underground temple, the investigators find that their car has been sabotaged. As they are walking back to St Combs, a truck stops and gives them a lift to the Strathbeg distillery.

The owner, Hugh Irvine, gives them a tour. Tina imbibes heavily of the complementary whisky.

In the basement of an abandoned church, Markus overhears news of a plot to deal with the new laird. He shoots dead an old man of some importance.

Meanwhile back in the inn, the drunken Tina attracts the attention of some disreputable locals. Douglas warns them off but a crowd gathers outside. He hauls Tina upstairs to her room and considers how to set up a defensive position.

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St Combs: More car trouble

Cameron visits the local post agent and tries to send a telegram. Mrs Crimble is less than helpful.

At the bank, Cameron discovers that only people on a register are allowed to open accounts. At the head of the list are Irvine, Gillie, Calder and Andrews.

Calder apologises to Tina about the unruly behaviour of the locals. He tells the investigators about some campers who saw something strange near the loch.

Taking a lift from one of the distillery trucks, the investigators find no evidence of a camp site. They note that they are being watched. As darkness falls, they are attacked by a flying horror. Douglas blasts the monstrosity to bits with his trusty shotgun.

In the distillery, the investigators find notes written by Irvine. Below the lab, caged monsters cry out. The investigators burn down the distillery and return to St Combs.

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St Combs: Going swimming

With the party reunited, they decide to investigate the hubbub in the town. Markus scouts ahead to eavesdrop. Things escalate when Irvine, Calder and Andrews hear about the fire at the distillery.

Markus takes a forceful approach when questioning the bank manager. The shots draw a crowd. Douglas chimes in with the Lewis gun.

They hear chanting accompanied by bagpipes on the pier. A crowd gathers. Calder wishes Tina well and hopes she is fruitful.

Markus shows off his John Woo moves. The distillery truck ends up in the drink. Cameron finishes off the remaining cult leaders.

Then the family arrives. This has a profound impact on Douglas and Markus. Cameron is skewered and becomes fish food.

Tina remembers to always look in the glove box and makes her escape. Despite her lack of swimming medals, she survives a second dunking in the North Sea (as does Markus).

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Inverness: Death of a Norwegian

Markus receives a letter from Detective Constable John Carmichael. A Norwegian explorer, Erik Oland, was found stabbed to death in his room at the Station Hotel in Inverness. Markus and Tina agree to help with the murder investigation.

Arriving in Inverness by train, they meet John, Herbert Drummond, a curmudgeonly police surgeon, and Malcolm Knox, a younger policeman assisting Drummond. They examine the evidence – a note written by Oland as he lay dying, and the murder weapon, a Scottish ceremonial dagger.

At the local paper, they gather information about Oland. He planned to explore Loch Ness aboard his vessel, the Kraken. On the night of Oland’s murder, an explosion sent the Kraken to the bottom of Moray Firth. Ian Bloom, a reporter, tells them that a tall, grey-haired (or was it brown?) gentleman was asking about Oland two days ago.

Markus visits the docks. Speaking to the harbourmaster and night watchman, he learns that the boat was filled with electrical equipment and sank quickly. After the explosion, a figure was seen climbing out of the water who then walked in the direction of Castle Inn.

John and Markus talk to the owner of Castle Inn, Mrs Josephine Dawson. After some financial persuasion, Ma Dawson tells them that three men – Brown, MacKay and Winter – took lodging two days ago. When John and Markus visit the room, they find a decaying body with no head. The only clue is a label – “FAM” – on the undershirt.

Tina accompanies Malcolm to the Station Hotel. The manager, Matthew Muir, is distressed by Malcolm’s questions. He is further distressed by Tina’s “reading”. Upstairs, a maid, Jenny Flynn tells Malcolm that she was on her way to Oland’s room to wake him when she saw a disturbance in the lobby.

Visiting an outfitter’s shop, John learns that the dagger was made by Angus Urquhart of Drumnadrochit. The shop has no Urquhart daggers currently in stock.

The party boards a steamboat, the Gondolier, on a trip around the loch. Tina chats to the pilot, Gordon Mungo. The Gondolier stops briefly at Fort Augustus. Mungo points out the monastery and makes an off-colour remark about the monks.

Arriving in the village of Drumnadrochit, they disembark. The weather is fine and sunny (for once). Reclining on a bench next to the village green is a local drunk, Auld Willy. He approaches them with a tale to tell.

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Inverness: Terror by the Loch

Tina accompanies Auld Willy to the local pub. Plying him with drink, she listens to his tales about the sinister Clan Urquhart.

Seeking information about the murder weapon, they go to Urquhart Hall. The clan leader, Angus, gives them a polite welcome. He invites them to visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

Adam Durward, a clansman, shows them about the windswept and desolate remains. Tina senses the old stones have great power.

Next day, John arranges the loan of a small boat. They travel to Fort Augustus at the end of the loch. An old couple, the Bannens, mention that the monks at the Benedictine monastery have not been seen much recently.

At the monastery, they meet the abbot, Father Balgarth. He explains the monks are giving out alms to poor cottagers up north. When Balgarth is called away, Markus explores the monastery. He finds evidence linking the monastery to the murder.

As the evening draws near, they return to Drumnadrochit. On seeing a large gathering at Urquhart Hall, Markus bluffs his way inside. He observes the interview with “Uncle Stuart”.

They follow the clansmen to Castle Urquhart and view a furious battle between the clansmen and the watery monks. They join the fray. The left flank is steadied but, fearing attack by an unseen monstrous adversary, they flee.

John is unable to explain the terrible events of that night to his chief superintendent. All of them feel a great sense of dismay and horror.

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Island of Rum: Be afraid of the dark

Sir George Bullough invites the investigators to stay on his island which he is developing as a resort. On the ferry over, the pilot tells them tales of strange disappearances on the island when it was owned by Sir George’s father, John Bullough.

On arrival, Sir George meets them. He mentions his problems with keeping staff.

Exploring the mansion, Malcolm discovers a concealed and locked door in the library. Markus helps locate the key with a little scholarly research.

John has a disagreement with the groundskeeper and fisticuffs ensue. Meanwhile, Malcolm peruses a disturbing tome in John Bullough’s secret library.

Markus has horrible nightmares. He can feel his soul being eaten away.

The investigators track down the source of the disappearances to the henge. They succeed in dispelling the other worldly horror.

Malcolm continues to read…

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Glasgow: A Deadly Cargo

The investigators travel to Glasgow to help the police solve a series of horrifying murders. On arrival, they meet Hugh Cadden, Private Secretary to the Lord Provost. He informs them that Lucy Siddons, a young servant, is the latest victim. Also, an Irish sloop has mysteriously arrived at the Clyde docks with no crew and a hold full of bodies.

Malcolm visits the docks. His stomach heaving, he notes the diseased state of the corpses aboard the ship. A truck arrives to take them to Dr James Cullen at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

John and Tina meet Lucy’s employer, Sir Gregory Arkwright, a wealthy benefactor to Glasgow’s institutions. John finds Lucy’s last note. Tina reads Arkwright’s chequebook.

Malcolm has an appointment with Dr Cullen. Cullen tells him about the deadly plague that killed many in the hospital and the nearby Duke Street Prison. It appeared to be contained until the arrival of the Irish ship. Cullen is taken aback when Malcolm asks to see the body of Lucy Siddons. He asks Malcolm to return the next day.

Meanwhile, at the Glasgow Herald, John reads about the measles outbreak in Ireland. He then visits the prison. After an interview with the unpleasant warden, John Black, is cut short, he observes that the prison logbook shows Dr Cullen visited the prison before and after the plague struck.

Black’s secretary tells John and Tina that Black has probably gone to Blackfriars pub for the afternoon. They decide to follow…

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Glasgow: Ex Cathedra

Markus and Tina find Black, the prison warder, in a gambling den. They follow him to his house. Markus disposes of Black’s trousers.

Malcolm visits the cathedral and has a meeting with the Reverend Grimond. Grimond tells him of the portents. Are the end times near?

Next day, Markus uses his talents to retrieve a mysterious black book hidden in Grimond’s private chapel. Malcolm takes possession of it.

In the grounds of the cathedral, Markus views diggings at the base of a flying buttress. He follows tracks leading to a deep hole concealed in some bushes.

Malcolm reads the book…

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