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MoN 31: Missing in Harlem

As the mansion’s plentiful electric lights blazed, the wide-ranging conversation continued late into the evening…

After enduring yet another comprehensive search and another lecture about the rules, the group were admitted to the Death House. Here, in the building’s bowels, they finally met Hilton Adams. Under the close supervision of the Death House’s warden, George Brunton, the group spoke with Hilton about the murders, a series of disappearances going back years—disappearances they had not previously detected—and Hilton’s belief that he had been framed for the murders after he tracked a muscular, bald black man to a coffee shop at 139th Street and Sixth Avenue which allegedly stood over Fat Maybelle’s speakeasy.

The group were limited to but 30 minutes so they could learn little more. Hilton suggested the group talk to his wife, Millie, but didn’t know where she was living as she had moved out of their tenement after it became apparent the police were framing Hilton. Hilton suggested she could be contacted through the reporter Rebecca Shosenburg. This was, of course, a problem as Miss Shosenburg had stopped taking Jacob’s calls after the regrettable incident in Harlem that led to the recent rioting.

Introducing Sebastian Lockheart

Later, back at the Plaza Hotel, the group met a private eye—Sebastian Lockheart—hired by Carlton Ramsey to aid the investigation. The group told the man a little of what they had learnt. They revealed they were interested in a coffee shop at 139th Street and Sixth Avenue to which Hilton Adams had tracked a man of interest just before he was framed for multiple murders.

Sebastion was the perfect person to investigate further. With no public connection to the group, he was the perfect person to move unseen and unremarked upon through Harlem in search of the truth. He could blend in and subtly work to uncover more facts of note. After handshakes all around, Sebastian took a cab to Harlem.

Grey Calling

While they waited for Sebastian to return, the group repaired to Charles’ suite. While there, they received several late-night phone calls from Bradley Grey, solicitor and gatekeeper for Erica Carlyle. By the end of the evening, Jacob had secured a meeting with Erica Carlyle! Tomorrow night, at 8 pm, cars would arrive at the hotel to take the group to the meeting. Discretion was recommended—perhaps even politely demanded.

Visiting the Carlyle Estate

By the morning of the 30th, Sebastian had not returned from Harlem. In fact, by the time group set out for the Carlyle estate, he had still not returned. Several of the group feared the worst, but more pressing matters commanded their attention.

The two cars sent for them took a circuitous route through New York before heading north to the Carlyle estate. It seemed this meeting was to be secret. Ikil was the only one of the group armed, but no danger or treachery presented itself, and the group arrived at the Carlyle estate without incident.

Unsurprisingly, they were thoroughly searched before being admitted passed the mansion’s entrance hall. Erica Carlyle was obviously exceptionally rich. Everything screamed wealth—from the many servants and guards to the decor and the hulking bodyguard Joe Corey who watched the group like a hawk as they were ushered into Erica Carlyle’s presence.

There ensued a frank, wide-ranging conversation about the Carlyle Expedition, its potential connection to Jackson Elias’s murder and more. Jacob put forth his theory that not all the expedition principles were dead, and Dr Dudley was interested to learn that Dr Robert Huston had served as Roger Carlyle’s psychiatrist before joining the expedition. Erica Carlyle betrayed her racist tendencies during the conversation and seemed reluctant to discuss her ownership of certain books she held somewhere in the house. The books frightened her, and she would not allow her visitors to examine them. She did, however, confirm their titles:

  • The Pnakotic Manuscripts
  • Selections de Livre D’Ibon
  • Amongst the Stones
  • Life as a God

As the mansion’s plentiful electric lights blazed, the wide-ranging conversation continued late into the evening…

This post is a session summary for my weekly 7th edition Call of Cthulhu Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.

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