MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1934: Overnight, the Investigators rested at the Hotel Cecil, setting watches in both rooms. Luke insured that the rooms were protected by hamsa symbols. While the others were resting, Tick Tock hit the bar. He struck up a conversation with the bartender there and noticed that the topaz that Dorothy had bought him at the occultist’s shop had taken on the appearance of an eye, watching him. The eye shifted into a grinning mouth.
Dorothy had a nightmare in which, once again, she was wandering the halls of Joy Grove Sanitarium, back in Savannah. She was dressed as a patient. The halls were dim and empty, but she could hear voices speaking in the distance. She glanced at the window of one of the patients’ rooms and saw her own reflection. Her eyes had been replaced by small mouths.
Tick Tock left the bar and noticed a man in the watching him from the hotel lobby. The man turned to leave, and Tick Tock followed him across the street to his car, which turned out to be the sedan that had been shadowing the group earlier. Tick Tock struck up a conversation with the man, who was large and belligerent. He seemed to know who all the Investigators were and where they had come from. He suggested that he’d been ordered to follow them and told Tick Tock that if they didn’t leave Los Angeles, harm might fall on them. Tick Tock mentioned his connections back east and eventually seemed to intimidate the man, who soon left.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1934: The Investigators checked in with their various contacts. Chantelle sent word to her mother, while Luke checked in with his black market contact ELMER WICKER, who had acquired a copy of the 1909 edition of Communion Rites of Victorian Death Cults. He confirmed earlier observations about the stone that Douglas Henslowe had hidden in Savannah—that it is almost certainly an artifact taken from Abyssinia, where a war is brewing between the Abyssinians and the Italians. He mentioned Spanish archaeologist, BARTOLO ACUNA, as someone with similar interests who might be in the field there. Dorothy received money and a lecture from her grandfather.
The group looked into movie star RICHARD SPEND, deceased in 1924. He appears in some of the photographs that were stored in Henslowe’s safe deposit box. His sister, YOLANDA SPENZEL, was found working as a live-in domestic at a mid-Wilshire mansion. She was bitter about the collapse of her brother’s career, which she felt was fueled as much by his participation in the orgies hosted by RAMON ECHAVARRIA, as he was by the advent of talking motion pictures. She mentioned other movie stars who attended these parties, such as OLIVIA CLARENDON, a currently popular queen of the screen.
The Investigators visited Ramon Echavarria’s old home in Highland Park. It was unoccupied, but the grounds appeared similar to the settings of some of the erotic photographs. They spoke to FRITZ MCDERMOTT, Echavarria’s former neighbor, a real estate executive, who told them about the strange parties Echavarria used to have in the 20s. He mentioned that there seemed to be very poor people mingling with the very rich. He also recognized SAMSON TRAMMEL’S business card with apparent distaste.
The Investigators moved to the address where the 1924 massacre, as identified by Yolanda Spenzel. They found an overgrown plot of land on the northern outskirts of Los Angeles. The area is currently under development, but this parcel is abandoned, containing the burnt remains of a barn and farmhouse. Arthur, Luke, and Dorothy identified occult symbols in the ruins that might’ve been used to summon something powerful and to focus occult energy on a specific point. The group noted that gasoline had probably been applied to the buildings, and further spread using Molotov cocktails. Chantelle fell into a ditch at the edge of the farm, where she found a head, mummified in some translucent glaze. It belonged to a balding man, appeared to be screaming and bore a second, inhuman mouth in the back of its neck.
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