Kingsport Society

Session 10

Dorothy screamed and immediately ran, flinging open the front door and following the river down to the shore.

Jacob began to stamp on the grubs frantically, perhaps thinking they were just maggots at first. Then the full horror of it grabbed him, and he backed away, he inexplicably took out a notebook and began to scribble. The lead broke, and he sharpened it with his teeth, continuing to scribble with the jagged lead, the script on the page getting larger and more emphatic.

Sarah, hearing the scream, rushed from a back room to the doorway and saw the seething mass that was once Neil Hazlitt.

Aaron Hart followed close behind, first exclaiming feebly, then became surprisingly spry and dashed out the back door.

● Sarah noticed a particularly odd detail amid the chaos…

● Maria ushered Jacob and Sarah out the back door and around the front, then ran to her trunk to grab her shotgun and rushed back inside the house. She took a moment to stamp on a few worms that were crawling out the front. One stuck to her heel for a moment but she managed to get it off. Jacob, still scribbling trance-like from inside the car, took note that the worms appeared to avoid Maria. Inside the museum, Maria saw Mr. Hart with a hand-pump garden sprayer, furiously misting the worms with something that smelled foul. The worms stopped in their tracks and eventually dried up. Sarah followed behind, and noticed that Mr. Hart was suffering a stroke.

● Jacob eventually came to his senses and got a sample jar from Maria’s car. He took a few crusty samples of the dried worm remains.

● A bird crashed into a window in the front of the KHS and died.

● Meanwhile, Sam Hartford drove merrily toward the other side of town, toward Neil’s closed shop…

There, he broke into Neil’s apartment on the second story, encountered a noseless cat, and poked around the shop downstairs. Uninterested in the collection of “hoaxes” in the back room, he turned his attention to financial records kept in bankers’ boxes under a desk. There, he found a curious purchase for a “mummified monkey” from the Arkham Auction Block on January 25th. He also found a box full of curiosities, such as a strange doll made of brown matter and human hair, a dried grub in a jar, mysterious wood carvings, metal figurines, and various other oddities.

● Back at the Kingsport Historical Society, an ambulance arrived, police were called in to take Neil’s husk away, and Mr. Hart was taken to the hospital. Sarah stayed with him there.

● Jacob and Maria later arrived at the shop and explored on their own.

Jacob discovered a box in a drawer in Neil’s bedroom. Inside were samples of brownish liquids, tiny strange skulls, a 10x jeweler’s loop, taxonomical drawings of monkeys, rodents and sea spiders — and an old court document surrounding the trial of Sarah Blaine for witchcraft. The document was stamped with the KHS seal, indicating it had once been part of the collection there.

● Jacob drove to Maria’s house, where he found Elizabeth Lowell Putnam (sister of Amy, Percival and Abbott Lowell Sr.) was waiting to give a message to Jacob. The two drove together to the Kingsport Historical Society, where Elizabeth gave Maria letters written by her husband to Amy from France.

● On Sunday, May 17th, Jacob visited with Detective Mason, and found out that Neil had been difficult to reach after the Varga House fire, had turned into a night owl and popped up in Hilltown with some of the Bohemians. Mason also told Jacob that there had been some petty theft and vandalism at the Florentina theater, possibly related to the spate of ill-conceived teen pranks at the KHS and Neil’s shop. All three locations had been abandoned or poorly guarded, so Mason suspected incompetent opportunists. Jacob also asked about Eric Luttgart, who dropped out of school and moved to New Orleans after the fire.

● Lippencott told Jacob to seek greater expertise in seeking the origins of the strange sections in the System of Magick book by Defoe, someone with printing experience. Jacob asked Sam if someone at the Kingsport Chronicle could help, and the two made their way to the home of Paul Cook, an eccentric typesetter and amateur journalist. After raking Jacob over the coals a little, Cook told Jacob he would do his best to find the source of the strange typeface and get back to them.

● Maria returned to Neil’s shop to retrieve the noseless cat, and (along with the cat) discovered a mummified creature in a box under his bed.

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