Last time we met our intrepid investigators, they were just returned to New York City from Sleepy Hollow where they had made a new friend: a brain in a box. The investigators also had a run-in with some mi-go and cultists, which did not seem to go so well for either party: while Konrad Adenbauer and Lawrence Hall suffered some grievous injuries from the mi-go lightning gun, the poor mi-go was shot several times and at least one of the cultists was left for dead in a burning house.
This all started with a birthday party where John Graham didn’t show up—an unusual but not unheard of occurrence. Things got weird when the investigators went to find their absent friend in his art workspace in Greenwich Village and instead found a grim sight: two squished and mauled bodies and an burst overhead window space.
However, it seems as though John Graham was losing his marbles before this discovery. While he usually dabbles in some abstract work, the entire studio was filled with strange, mottled work, culminating in a huge, room-sized piece that seemed to depict a field of maggots, tentacles, bubbles, and other revolting, bulbous, fleshy shapes. Looking much more closely, there was a distinct shape subtly formed by the flow of the objects depicted in all of the works.
Not quite grasping the immensity of the scene, the investigators decided to check on John Graham’s home to see if he was there and not, say, pulped on the floor of his studio. On the way to the home, they told a policeman on patrol about what they discovered, but he seemed only to get a bit nervous and assure the investigators that the NYPD will look into the matter as soon as possible. Weird.
When they got to the apartment in the Village, the investigators encountered for the first time just how poor John Graham lived; they also met his landlord, an old crone left incoherently babbling on about “339” in her apartment. The investigators determined that the landlord was not yielding any further information and so relieved her of some of her jewelry.
The next stop on the investigator’s journey was John Graham’s apartment, where he was not to be found. In fact, there was little here—it seemed that he hadn’t been in the apartment in some time, and so there is little to suggest that there’s been any descent into madness. Yet as the investigators looked out the window, they spotted that the house next door—lot 339—was spying on them.
Observing for a while from John Graham’s apartment, the investigators could see a couple men loading a car with some equipment behind the house. In a bold move, the investigators approached the folks next door head-on and knocked at the door, whereupon a man invited them in for drinks in the parlor. There was polite chit-chat, but eventually the man and his “companion” had to leave, leaving the house seemingly unoccupied.
After letting the men clear out, the investigators decided to enter the house again, exploring to see what was up with this otherwise-normal house. Searching the rooms, there didn’t seem to be much unusual about this old house other than it didn’t seem quite lived in so much as occupied. While perusing the library, which was short many books, one of the investigators came upon an interesting book called Saracenic Rituals. It did have a bookmark, but no one read the book beyond a quick perusal to see what it might contain.
Upon getting to the basement, however, they were fired upon! There was a brief exchange of gunshots in the darkness downstairs with a couple investigators taking glancing hits, but eventually they captured a young man of around 17 years old, Mark, that was left behind to guard the basement.
After using some enhanced interrogation techniques of the 1920s, they got the boy singing like a bird: James and Frank were the two men who left earlier, and they left for Sleepy Hollow. They were mad at Sal, who went after John Graham for some reason—he didn’t know much, he was just some stupid kid that had nothing better to do than hang out with some cultists that fawned him with attention.
When the investigators realized they had exhausted the kid’s limited experience, they left him tied up in the basement and made a last search of the premises. The basement seems to be where the action was, but it’s all been removed. All that’s left are some spare tubes and other cheap and easily-obtained lab equipment. It looks like James and Frank made off with the goods upstate.
So off to Sleepy Hollow our investigators went, seeking out James and Frank. Fortunately Lawrence Hall had a car for them to drive, but by the time they arrived, it was already well into the night. They stopped in an all-night diner and asked around about any funny business, and one of the waitresses hesitantly disclosed that there was indeed a house on the outskirts of town that usually had some strange behavior around it at night. Must be the place they’re looking for!
The investigators park the car some distance away from the house so that they’re not spotted or heard before they approach the house. On the way up to the structure, they sense a feeling of being watched, and at one point they can hear that there is indeed something up in the trees, but they can’t quite catch a glimpse of it.
Coming up to the house, they see that there are a couple of men inside that seem to be unpacking. One in a parlor on the side of the house appears to be talking to someone, but there isn’t anyone else in the room. (Remember, 1920s—no cellphones, so when smelly guys are alone on a street talking, they’re just talking to themselves.)
The investigators take it upon themselves to stage an assault on the house, where they wrestle with Frank, subdue James, get struck a couple times by lightning when a mi-go comes down from upstairs, and Joseph Robinson finds the brain in the box. After things settle down for a second, they set fire to the house and flee the scene, with both Frank and James still in the house but Joseph Robinson has grabbed the brain in the box.
While driving back into the city, the brain explains, rather calmly and cooperatively, that they’ve been seeking a way to bring humans—or at least their minds—out to Yuggoth to worship at the feet of the true gods of the universe. The group, which includes Frank, James, and Sal, has had a bit of a schism, with Sal arguing that it’s foolish to try to take humans out away from Earth when there are definitely means to bring the true gods right here. The brain is not sure what’s happened, but Sal is off somewhere in New Jersey and has done something to draw the attention of the likes of the investigators. Mr. Box seems rather sanguine about all this, however, since he’s confident that their compatriots on this journey to the stars, the mi-go, will come to his rescue…