I’m late getting this updated, but I’ve got sessions 2 and 3 ready to go. This one is a long one.
NOVEMBER 1, 1934: The Investigators arrived at the Joy Grove Asylum, finding themselves bumper-to-bumper with another sedan. Its driver, JAMES “TICK TOCK” COHAN was also sent by Janet Winston-Rogers. Tick Tock is a Murder, Incorporated enforcer.
It isn’t clear if Janet knows exactly what his job is, but she seemed to be aware of his capabilities—and of the fact that he was mentored by VINCE STACK, one of Walter Winston’s companions during the 1924 massacre. Vince was stabbed to death during that bloodbath, and Janet is hoping that she and Tick Tock can work together to find out what led to her father’s collapse and Vince’s death. Janet requested that Tick Tock make his way to Savannah and look for the group she had already sent there.
The Investigators compared notes. Tick Tock had noticed the car following them and was interested in meeting the only surviving member of the 1924 group, DOUGLAS HENSLOWE. The group headed inside to speak with Henslowe’s doctor, JONATHAN KEATON, who was impressed by Chantelle Perreault’s French charm and her connection to the Winston name. Keaton revealed himself to be a desperate careerist—willing to share information about his patients if he thinks doing so might improve his fortunes.
While Keaton was showing the group around Joy Grove, a patient charged down the hall and attacked Dorothy Howard. FRED CULVER was hulking and irrational. He seemed intent on biting Dorothy. Her companions moved to protect her, with Arthur Rowe speaking to Culver casually. Culver was caught off guard by this unexpected attempt at conversation. Orderlies stepped in and restrained him. While all this was going on, Luke Davis once again saw a strange mouth like form emerge out of the wall. It leered and drooled at him. Elsewhere, Luke noticed that someone had painted crude symbols in the plaster around a few water damaged areas. These were shaped like Hamsas, protective amulets worn by some in the Middle East.
Apologizing for the attack on Dorothy, Dr. Keaton led the Investigators to a room that had been set aside for patient interviews. Here, most of them met DOUGLAS HENSLOWE, the lone survivor of the 1924 massacre that led to Vince Stack’s death, as well as the nervous collapse of both Walter Winston and Henslowe. Arthur had long been an admirer of Henslowe and was deeply influenced by his work. Henslowe acknowledged their esthetic bond, before introducing himself to the others.
Henslowe appeared to be late middle-aged. He was sad, distant, and a bit druggy. He spoke with a gentlemanly Southern accent. The Investigators questioned him about the letter he sent to Walter. He answered, filling in some blanks around what happened on August 13, 1924 in Los Angeles. Henslowe said he was a part of a group, led by Walter Winston that was monitoring the activities of a dangerous cult of “fornicators.” All but Winston and Henslowe died. The group included:
- WALTER WINSTON – Philanthropist and student of folklore and the occult.
- DOUGLAS HENSLOWE – Cultured artist. Sensitive esthetically and otherwise.
- VINCE STACK – Tough private investigator. Good as muscle and as an all around fixer. Stabbed to death.
- KATHERINE CLARKE – Young, idealistic and clever. Good at manipulating people and learning secrets. Decapitated.
- F.C. KULLMAN – Occult scholar and expert in the paranormal. A cynical authority on spiritualism. Shot.
Henslowe also shared the following about August 13 1924:
- Katherine Clarke directed the rest of the group to a farm on that night. The cult was moving ahead with something sooner than expected, because “the stars we re right.”
- Winston’s group came hastily armed, prepared to do whatever might be necessary to stop the cult. There was a shootout and a fire, with many people on both sides dying.
- An unspecified “thing” appeared, perhaps summoned by the cult. It may have been responsible for some of the deaths.
- Winston and Henslowe panicked and fled. Henslowe saw Stack shoot a man before being stabbed to death.
Henslowe seemed to sympathize with the Investigators. He directed them to his family’s estate, nearby. He’d stashed a notebook there with his observations on the time spent with Walter. He also mentioned that he’d stashed a key there for a safe deposit box. The box is at the First Bank of Long Beach. Henslowe said he placed some items from the 1924 Investigations in the box.
Doctor Keaton suggested that the Investigators speak to another one of his patients. This man had also been at the 1924 massacre, but had been participating in the cult ritual. His name was EDGAR JOB, and he was responsible for stabbing Vince Stack to death, after Stack shot the cult leader RAMON ECHAVARRIA.
Job was willing to talk to the Investigators about his past. He joined the Los Angeles cult after his friend and fellow student GEORGE AYERS introduced him to Echavarria. In 1923-24, Job attended drug- and sex-fueled parties thrown by Echavarria. Job said that Echavarria recognized that there was something special about him—perhaps his fascination with mathematics. Job is obsessed, in particular, with set theory.
Job mentioned that on the night of the ritual, the cultists were to be gifted with power. He had been singled out to be the focus of a spell, which Echavarria intoned over him. An entity was summoned that “screamed from its hands.” Many people died after Henslowe and Stack showed up with their friends. When questioned by Tick Tock, Job acknowledged that he’d killed Stack and claimed to feel remorse.
Job also bonded somewhat with Arthur, who drew him out by pretending to have attended Echavarria’s parties in the twenties. Arthur also claimed to have used a strange drug enjoyed by Job and the others in the past. It was called Nectar and seemed to serve as an aphrodisiac and as a mild-altering substance. Arthur promised to bring Job some Nectar, if he could.
Job spoke of finger-painting, a hobby which he said he’d taken up in collaboration with Henslowe—despite their profound differences. It became clear that Job was referring to the hamsas. The two men had been painting them in the runny plaster around the asylum. Job said they hoped they would be protected by them.