Arkham: Prologue - Anything For a Friend
August/December, 1922

You began your trek into the bizarre, twisted realm of the Cthulhu Mythos on August 17 of 1922. A dear friend from your college days at Miskatonic University, Professor Rupert Merriweather, sent word that he was in ill-health, and that he had an urgent request for you. You were asked to meet Prof. Merriweather at St. Mary's Hospital in Arkham, Mass. the next afternoon. Settling your affairs for the next few days, you prepared for your trip.

The next afternoon, you met up with several other friends of the professor, who were also asked to meet with him on this day. Some of the others you knew, and some were strangers, but all of you attended Miskatonic, and all were devoted to Rupert.

You found Professor Merriweather's room, and entered to find his wife and son sitting with him. After a few words of introduction, Rupert asked that his family to leave, then turned to you and presented a brief history of his days as a student at Miskatonic. He revealed how he and a group of fellow students, while pursuing investigations into the occult, released a creature from another dimension. The horrid creature killed one of the students immediately, and yet another was driven insane. The survivors fled, and invented a story to explain the death and mental affliction of their friends. Fortunately, the monster was confined to the house where the experiment took place, and would be thus bound as long as the remaining students lived. Rupert sadly informed you that he was the last living member of that group, and that his time was near the end.

Rupert then asked you to find a way to drive the monster back from whence it came, before it escaped the house and terrorized the country side. He gave you a box, and then collapsed back into bed, coughing up large quantities of blood. Quickly you left the dying man, and gathered at Miranda's house in Arkham, where you opened the box. Within the box was a journal, the deed and key to a house in Ross's Corners, and a strange sarcophagus shaped box, with Egyptian writing engraved upon the outside, and strange runes within.

The box was empty, but the journal told of Rupert's affairs in the supernatural.

In June of 1881 a group of Miskatonic students formed an organization known as "The Dark Brotherhood", whose purpose was to explore the occult and supernatural. They bought a small farmhouse in Ross's Corners for their meetings and experiments.

In February of 1882, after little success in their investigations, the group's leader, Marion Allen, purchased a sarcophagus shaped box, containing some arthropod encased in amber. The box matched a description Allen found in an occult book within the Miskatonic University Library, a thick Latin tome titled De Vermiis Mysteriis.

In March of 1882, using translations from the book and the box, the group performed a ceremony that released the spirit of the creature encased in amber. Disaster ensued, and one of the members was killed while another was driven insane. The others fled the house.

The final entry looked recent, and mentioned that the method for driving the creature from this dimension was still in the old house.

In the morning, you piled into Miranda's car and drove up to the house. A brief stop for directions at Ross's Corners revealed that a local woman missing, and foul play was suspected. At the house, you cautiously explored the outside, and then bravely split up into two teams: one entering the front door, the other the back. Within, you found two rooms, with strange symbols carved on the doorways and window frames. The back room was a kitchen, with a staircase leading down, and a closed door in the ceiling, which lead into the attic. On a shelf in the kitchen you found an old cigar box, within which were papers, describing in detail the ceremony required to summon or banish the spirit creature. You then descend into the cellar, where a hobo rushed out, took a swing at you, then fled up the stairs and out of the house before you could catch him. You decided to leave... for now.

The next day, you made your way to the Miskatonic University Library, to try and translate the writing on the box, and to find the De Vermiis Mysteriis . The book was stored in the rare book vault, to which you did not have access, but fortunately, you stumbled across Julian Smith, an English professor who frequented the Miskatonic Library doing research, with whom Mac had previously developed a friendship. Smith, a professor of archaeology, translated the Egyptian letters on the box, and provided you with access to the rare book vault... but he required that you tell him what you were up to. After hearing your story, Julian offered his aid, should you need it.

Scanning through the De Vermiis Mysteriis itself was a slow process, but fortunately your friend, Professor Smith, was able to help. Even so, other than a few cryptic statements, little was gleaned from the book. You then arranged a meeting time with Julian Smith for later on that evening, when you would return to the house and perform the ceremony.

Back at the house, darkness fell, and from the attic above, you heard a tremendous noise. You began the ceremony, and soon, from out in the yard, you heard a woman's plaintive cry for help... looking out the window, you saw an injured person trying to crawl to the house, and crying out in pain and fear. Brave souls that you were, you merely watched as she labored on. Before long, another person - a man - stumbled up to the woman, and began to help her towards the house... as they approached, you recognized the man as the hobo you had seen on the previous day... you also noticed the mangled bodies of both the man and woman, and the fetid odor of death that radiated out from them. Zombies! They attacked the house, as some of you tried to fend them off by shooting at them, while the rest kept up the chanting. The woman zombie move to the back of the house, and assailed the door, which "Mo", in her attempt to shoot the zombie, shot to pieces, thus giving the zombie easy access to the kitchen, and you. The ceremony was near its end at this time, as an incredible sound of wailing and screaming came down from the attic, followed by a thick, red liquid that dripped around you, and burned to the touch. The zombie renewed her attack on the chanters, just as the a bright light leapt up from the box on the floor, and you saw the creature from the attic being drawn down, into the box. As the creature vanished in a flash of light, the zombies collapsed into unmoving heaps upon the ground.

The next day, Julian helped you explain to the police the bizarre happenings of the previous evening - although you wisely kept the truth to yourselves!

After saying farewell, each of you returned home. Several months later, Julian Smith mailed each of you an invitation to London - complete with first class passage and prepaid reservations at an excellent hotel. Smith explained that he had been invited to speak at the Challenger Lecture, a rare honor, and the topic of his lecture would be of interest to you. He also hinted of another quest, similar to your adventures in Arkham.

So at the end of December, 1922, the four of you once again met, but this time at the docks of Boston, and thus began your trip to London together.

Forward.
First chapter.