It was cold and blustery in New York. In fact, that was to be the recurring theme for the next few days.
Cypress Hills Cemetery
Just before 2 pm, Saturday 17th, the group arrived at Cypress Hills Cemetery for Jackson’s funeral. The event was sparsely attended—only three other people were present. Of the three, the characters had previously met Jonah Kensington. After the brief funeral, another of the mourners introduced himself. His name was Carlton Ramsey, and he was Jackson’s lawyer and the executor of his will. The third attendee was his assistant Willa Sligh. Carlton invited the group to attend his offices on Monday for the reading of the will.
As they left the church, a pack of reporters—keen for the scoop on Jackson’s murder—assailed the party. The party brushed off their advances, but Jacob recognised the name of one of the reporters—Rebecca Shosenburg—as the writer of several articles in the New York Times he had recently read. She seemed particularly interested in Jackson’s death and invited Jacob and his friends to her offices to compare notes.
The Carlyle Estate
Leaving New York the next day and heading north, the group made their way to the Carlyle estate, intent on discovering just what was in Erica’s safe. Various plans were laid, including the possibility of breaking into the place, but these were dashed at sight of the vast, heavily defended estate. The entire thing was surrounded by a 12-foot-high cast iron fence, and roving patrols of armed men accompanied by large dogs patrolled the grounds. More armed men watched the gate. Ikil was convinced that there was far more security on the grounds than what was obviously visible, and so all plans of breaking in were cast aside.
Indeed, the party didn’t even get onto the grounds. The armed guards at the gate explained patiently—but forcefully—that Erica Carlyle saw no one without an appointment. The only way to get an appointment was through her lawyer—Bradley Grey of Dunstan, Whittleby and Grey—and his offices were back in New York.
At this news, with much of the day wasted, the party turned around and headed back to New York.
The Reading of the Will
On Monday, after breakfast, Jacob called the offices of Dunstan, Whittleby and Grey to arrange an appointment with Bradley Grey. Eventually, he spoke with Bradley Grey, and the lawyer seemed interested in Jacob’s story. He took the reporter’s details and said he would attempt to arrange a meeting with his client, Erica Carlyle.
In the early afternoon, the group arrived at Carlton Ramsey’s offices for the reading of Jackson’s will. Ramsey told them Jackson had updated his will the day before his murder and had seemed to know he might be in mortal peril. The will instructed Ramsey to create a fund from Jackson’s assets to pay for the investigation into his death. Jackson—it transpired—had been convinced he was onto something—“something big of monstrous, worldwide significance”. The group had already vowed to get to the bottom of Jackson’s death and needed little convincing from Ramsey or by the message Jackson had recorded for them.
Leaving the reading of the will, the group decided to swing back to the hotel via Harlem to visit the Ju-Ju House. This did not go according to plan.
While at the shop, Jacob managed to destroy a set of shelves, Ikil managed to disable the group’s car so no one could steal it, and Tom got into an argument with two policemen who “suggested” it would be best if the characters never returned to Harlem—bad things happened there to outsiders. To cap it all, the group also decided it was likely the Ju Ju House had nothing to do with Jackson’s death—the cramped, dusty and semi-squalid shop seemed filled with nothing but tat and rubbish.
Thus it was that the party returned—cold and tired—to the hotel. There a message awaited them. Dr Dudley had asked his wife, the lovely Eloise, to meet Professor Cowles and to try and get a transcript of his talk. She had been successful—up to a point—and suggested her husband should come back to meet the man himself. He had an interesting photograph of some ancient ruins in Australia, and while she had transcribed the talk, she thought it best for her husband to actually listen to the recording…
This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.
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