I've run Forget Me Not (Great adventure from The Things We Leave Behind published by Stygian Fox) for three of my friends during two long game sessions. I took the liberty to set the story in 1987 because I wanted to give that "retro" flair to the game for my players. Also, we've used pre-generated characters because I thought it was more logical for this kind of adventure (With investigators having lost their memory). It was really fun to run and everyone had a good time. I can't recommend this adventure enough and we can't wait to play Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home. Have a a good read.
First Session : A van on the side of the road.
A woman comes to inside a van. She is sitting on the passenger seat and she is hurt. There is blood on her face, right beneath her nose, and her head... It feels awful. Also, she's visibly peed herself.
It's dark outside, but she is not alone. There is a man on the driver seat, he is unconscious, his head resting on the wheel. Behind them, in the back of the van, another man is lying on the floor. Unconscious too.
The woman wakes the driver up. He is young. About thirty years old. He has a mohawk and wears blue sunglasses and a leather jacket.
â€œWhat happened ? â€œ he asks. â€œWho are you ?â€
The woman doesn't know what to answer to each question.
She gets the urge to wakes the other man up. He is even younger that the other, but with a more conventional appearance. Both men have minor injuries and hell of a headache. Just like her.
And nobody remember anything. Not even who they are.
The group checks their pockets, finding id cards, money and several objects. The woman seems to be called Rosamund Kane. The man with the mohawk is Lawrence Davies and he Â« feels Â» like his friends call him Larry. Last, the other man is called Thomas Woodhouse. All of them seem to live in Los Angeles, California but they have no memories whatsoever. Kane finds out she is wearing a pendant with â€œR&Lâ€ carved on it, and Davies wears a crucifix around his neck. Is he a christian? Also, he has in his pockets a flasks of what appears to be vodka and a photo of a naked blond woman.
Around them, they found cables, broken monitors, microphones... It's like the van belongs to a TV crew except there is no video camera. Kane is the only one with a watch that is still functionning and the screens says that it's Tuesday September the 17th 1987, 08:24 pm. In the glove box, Kane finds two maps. One is a road map of the entire United States of America, but the second one is a road map of the state of Michigan and there are annotations on it... The road is marked from Detroit to a place called Clio. Woodhouse finds a Polaroid camera near where he was lying. He feels that he knows exactly how to use it (And he has a few films in his pockets).
Outside, it starts raining. Looking around, the group sees a farmhouse nearby. They decide to go there and check for help. They walk toward the house. Strangely, all of them feels the necessity to be cautious. They look at the corn fields around them, the tall grass near the road. Each shadow, each movement created by the wind make them uneasy. It's like they're expecting some predator will come out of the field and tear them appart.
They arrive at the farmhouse and Davies knocks on the front door. They can hear noises from inside, as if someone was watching the television. The sounds stops and then the door opens to a man who is about thirty-five or forty years old. He looks at them, his eyes widened in surprise.
â€œHm.. Good evening. May I help you?â€
Larry starts explaining the situation without letting anything in the dark. It looks like they just had a car accident, they feel awful and they don't remember anything.
The man is surprised, but his good side makes him invite the group inside. He calls for his wife, Angela, asking for blankets. He leads the group to the living room where a teenage boy is reading a comic-book.
Angela enters the room with the blankets and offers to prepare hot coffee for the trio. All of them accept with gratitude while the man, who is called Graham Baker, says he will call for his brother-in-law, a mechanic who could help with their vehicle. Thomas indicates that they were riding a van. Angel gives Kane an aspirine for her headache.
Dave the mechanic says he will arrive in about an hour. In the meantime, the trio asks questions to the Baker. Where are they? Is there something odd or special about that road where they had the accident?
The Bakers say that there is nothing special here and that the group is in Clio, a small town of Michigan. Basically, it's the middle of nowhere.
Dave Sheridan arrives with the van. He asks 80 dollars for his service, which upsets both Graham and Angela but Davies accepts to pay. The group gets inside the van and starts wondering about the situation. Looking further inside the vans and their belongings, they discover that some of the case containing the equipment are decorated with a sticker. It says â€œThe Supernatural Filesâ€. It looks like they were indeed a TV crew, but a special kind of crew. Ghost hunters. Paranormal investigators...
With their keys, they find keys of a motel room. The Coach and Lantern Motel... Clio, Michigan.
They decide to go there.
When they arrive, Kane has a flash-back. It's the end of the afternood and they are parking the van in the motel's parking lot. Inside the van, there is a fourth person : a pretty young woman with red hair. And all of them seem to know each other.
Kane explains her vision and everyone start to worry about where that red haired woman might be right now. Kane and Woodhouse decide to go to their respective room while Davies says he wants to go to the reception and ask a few questions to the motel's employee.
In the reception, Davies meets Lisa Sawyer. She is surprised by his appearance and asks if he is alright. Davies starts asking questions, telling the truth about his amnesia. Lisa agrees to help, saying that the group arrived on the evening of the 14th of September, three days ago. She finds odd that Davies doesn't remember the woman with the red hair, who, she says, is called Lyn Cartwright and has paid for the rooms. Thanking the young woman, Larry leaves and goes toward to his room.
Inside Room #5, Woodhouse finds a black t-shirt with â€œThe Supernatural Filesâ€ printed on it, and a few documents. They're press articles. He starts to read one of them. It's about two homicides committed in a small isolated farm near Clio, Michigan...
In her room (#3), Kane starts snooping around. She finds clothes, a laptop and a bra... Too small for her. It triggers another vision. She is in bed with the woman with the red hair. They've just had sex. She savors the moment. They're not in the motel room but in a totally different place. Home? Suddenly, the vision shatters. Kane only sees the face of the woman, covered in blood and tears. Her mouth is deformed by a silent scream. Something is wrong. More blood starts pouring down on her face. Her eyes get bloodshot and then are gouged out. Kane hears a voice. An awfully powerful voice saying â€œTHEN YOU WILL DIE!!â€. The vision dissappears and Kane starts shrieking. Soon after, Davies and Woodhouse enter the room, asking what is going on. Kane explains. She thinks the woman is or was in danger. Davies tells the others about his discovery : the woman is called Lyn Cartwright and she paid for the rooms. So, maybe that woman is their boss. Woodhouse shows the articles to the others. Double homicides in Clio. A unindentified corpse found in the fields. A horror movie project that was shut down by the town. A missing teenager... And all of this is connected to the Cooper farm where Andrew Cooper killed his wife and son because â€œThey were inside themâ€.
They agree that they should get some sleep now. But Davies decides otherwise. He wants to search his room first. There, he finds videotapes for a camera (But not camera) and some audiotapes too. The videotapes are annoted â€œB-Rollâ€ and the audiotapes have names written on them. But Davies doesn't have anything to play them. He goes to the van and search for such a thing but there is nothing he can use.
He goes to the reception, where there is a man (Thomas Sawyer, Lisa's husband). He asks if he has a tape-player or something like that and if he could borrow. The man agrees but when Davies tries to convince him to give the key of Lyn's room, he refuses. Davies thanks the man and goes back to his room to listen to one of the tapes. It's an interview of two teenagers : Alexis Romanov and her friend or boyfriend James Burke. They says that they went inside the Cooper farm because one of Jimmy's friends challenged them to do so. Inside, they saw a ghost and then they fleed. The tape stops and suddenly, Davies starts hearing voices. Kane's, Woodhouse's and even his own voice. There is also another woman's voice and he assumes that it's Lyn's. Everyone is screaming and panicking about a closed door. And then something happens. Lyn screams and Davies hears a powerful voice, so powerful that it hurts to hear it : â€œDO YOU WANT TO LIVE???â€
Half scared, Davies goes to sleep.
Wednesday September 18th. 09:30 am.
The trio wakes up painfully after a terrible night. All of them had bizarre nightmares and Woodhouse even woke up beneath his bed!
Also, they all still feel horrible and Kane now has one of her eyes completely bloodshot. Oddly, when searching for clothes in his bag before going to the bathroom, Woodhouse got the sensation that something, some bug, was crawling up his arm. It terrified him so much that he pulled out his hand of the bag but there was nothing in there.
During breakfast, they discuss about the night and their horrible dreams. Davies is startled when Kane mentions â€œwhite spider-like thingsâ€. He remembers hearing the two kids from audiotape talk about â€œfat white spidersâ€ they saw in the Cooper farm.
The group listens to the other videotapes. Ghost stories. Spiders crawling out of a swollen dead cat. McCumsey Road. The very road where they woke up. Did they go to the Cooper farm? Did something happened to them in there? Was this the cause of their amnesia? What if Lyn was still there??
They ask the man at the reception (Now Bob Sawyer, Thomas' father) if they could check inside Lyn's room. Kane lies about something important Lyn's forgotten there. It works and Bob leads them there. He allows them to go inside but under he will watch to make sure they don't still anything or snoop inside the woman's privacy. Davies tries his best to distract the old man while Kane and Woodhouse search the room. Woodhouse finds a laptop computer he manages to gain access to. Kane finds a novel in Lyn's luggage. IT from Stephen King. It looks like her girlfriend was into horror stories. She also finds notes about interviews that have taken place on the 16th of September and possibly on the 17th of September. She recognizes a name in the list : Vanessa Volker. It the real estate agent mentionned in one of the press articles found by Woodhouse. She is supposed to be in charge of the Cooper farm.
Davies' conversation with Bob Sawyer takes an unexpected turn when the latter mentions that the man's nose is bleeding. And it is bleeding a LOT. Davies tries his best to contain the blood and starts feeling dizzy. He sits on the bed. Bob leaves the room to search for something to clean the blood on the floor.
Now, all of them is worried. First the amnesia, then Kane's eye, now Davies' nose. What the hell is wrong with them?
Woodhouse takes this opportunity to see what's on the laptop. He finds the same list on the laptop but also some emails about their travel to Clio. It confirms their first impression : it was a scheduled trip and Lyn must be the show's producer. He also finds some â€œromanticâ€emails sent by Lyn to Kane. They were indeed in a secret (and pretty steamy) relationship.
After Davies stopped bleeding, the group decides to do some research about the Cooper farm. Maybe they could find something at the Clio Historical Society.
There, they meet Lilly Austin. A 68 years old eccentric woman with a dark sense of humor. Apparently, they've met her the day before but they don't mention the amnesia and says they were just pretending to have forgotten her. Amused, the old woman gives them a hand in their research. They spend the next five hours searching her collection of press articles, skipping lunch even when she offers them snacks (They're not hungry).
They find some interesting things about the farm. First of all, it was built by an man called Edmund McCumsey that came from the United Kingdom to Clio to build his house with the help of german workers, back in 1947. He was an historian and he was known for a book published in 1937 about labyrinths... They were rumors about a treasure hidden inside a vault the man had built beneath his house (The man had enough money to pay the construction of the road connecting the house to the town so...). Three men went missing in 1948. One of the men's wife told the police that the trio was going to break inside McCumsey's house and search for the treasure. The McCumsey's house was searched but there was no sign of the missing men.
The next day, the three men reappeared, dirty and â€œconfusedâ€ about what they were doing and where they were during the last 48 hours. The authories concluded that the men were drunk and the case was closed.
A month later, one of the men died. Then another one, and this one's wife went mad. The third man died soon after with his whole family when his farm's burning.
Davies and Woodhouse suggest they should go back to the Bakers and ask if Zack, their teenager, already went to the Cooper farm, just like most of Clio's youth, then they shoud go interrogate Vanessa Volker. After all, it seems that she was the last person they were supposed to meet yesterday.
All of the sudden, Rosamund feels horribly ill. She wants to puke and asks Lilly's for the bathroom.
There, she vomits some blood and also a few bits of flesh. She is very worried and ask the others to go to a doctor.
At the Clio Urgent Medical Care Center, they're all examined by Doctor Jacob Groom. The results show nothing out of the ordinary, even though all of them had horrible sensations when the doctor examined their mouth and throat. But because they talked about their amnesia, the bleeding and, most of all, because Kane did vomit blood, Groom suggests that they should go to Saint Mary's Hospital in Saginaw as soon as possible for further examinations. They may have a serious problem and the Clio Urgent Medical Care Center just hasn't got the proper equipment to reveal it.
The group hits the road in direction of Saginaw. While Kane is being examined at the hospital, the men will search local bookstores and libraries and see if they can buy a copy of McCumsey's book.
Two hours after Kane's arrival at the hospital, Doctor Cowie talks to her about the results. The imagery indicates a lot of â€œdark spotâ€ inside her shot. In fact, those spots are everywhere inside her body. The doctor explains that it may be a form of cancer but he can't be sure. He recommends that they make another test : a biopsy. Kane starts worrying. Does she really have cancer?? Was it before the accident or did something happen to her yesterday? But... She is also worried sick about the procedure itself. The idea that someone will simply cut her open and check inside her... It makes her uncomfortable. She starts asking for another solution, but Cowie says there is no other choice.
Davies and Woodhouse get back to the hospital after they managed to buy a copy of the book. Davies had skim read the book on the road and he tells the others about the book's content.
In his eyes, it's nothing but the delusions of a mad man. According to McCumsey, there is a huge network of tunnels beneath the planet's surface. It was built by an ancient civilisation and it's because of this â€œlabyrinthâ€ that there are similitudes in distant civilisations, such as the Egyptians and the Aztecs having pyramids and mummies... Bullshits. But, maybe that's why McCumsey went to Clio. Maybe the rumors about a secret vault beneath the farm were true.
Woodhouse goes to the toilet but there he has a unpleasant sight. Two tumor-like bump had grown at the base of his neck. When he touches them, they start moving and then dissapeared inside his body.
Kane is talking about the cancer when Woodhouse comes back. She is really worried and doesn't know if she should accept the procedure. The two men manage to calm Kane down and to convince her to accept the biopsy. After all she really has not choice in the matter. Woodhouse mentions the two tumors from earlier and says that maybe all of them have cancer.
She relently accepts and everyone goes to sleep. The operation is scheduled to tomorrow morning. The men are allowed to sleep in the hospital's waiting room while Kane gets her own room.
Once again... They sleep and they dream.
Thursday September 19th. 07:00 am.
The orderlies wake Kane up and start preparing her for the procedure.
The men wake up thirty minutes later and starts talking about the nightmares they just had. Woodhouse goes to the coffee machine but he suddenly feels terrible. He goes to the toilet and has a bowel movement. But right before flushing the toilet, he sees something in the feces. Movements. Then four tiny white things with multiple legs gets out of the fecal matter and crawl out of the toilet. He is just too surprised to react but then he has the most horrible epiphany : the two tumors that MOVED inside of his own body. The MULTIPLE dark spots shown on Kane's scan results. The SWOLLEN dead cat that erupted with dozens of spiders pouring out of it. The symptoms. The BIOPSY.
â€œOh god... The procedure will kill her!â€
He had to stop the doctors before it is too late!!
TO BE CONTINUED
We are at the end of the morning when Ursula Bishop arrives at the south-west entrance of Bridgewater Park and while she's quite proud of herself for making all the way from Arkham to this part in the south of Massachusetts, the abnormal heat surrounding her makes her worried. But she won't wimp out. She really wants to get that raise so she will do that job that none of her colleagues wanted to take at the Arkham Gazette . The job is simply : meet with Howard Stern, a hunter who claimed that he has shot the legendary Thunderbird, that creature from the natives folklore. Easy enough. She will get in the park, she will meet him, she will take a better picture of the dead animal (The one sent by the hunter was all blurry), she will get all the informations she needs to write a decent story and she will get out of here. There is nothing to worry about that.
Well, that's what she was thinking right before she got lost in the woods. Before she met with Herbert O'Donnel, another journalist but from New-York, someone she teamed-up with a month ago during that dreadful adventure in Octavia, Massachusetts...
Meanwhile, at the very south of the park, private eye Peter Marlowe enters the woods. He's here for a job, too, but a more sinister one. Young Oda Mae Evers, 18 months old, was recently kidnapped in Boston and soon enough the Police stopped researching.
"The girl wasn't white enough to deserve a proper investigation" thought Marlowe as he was following a trail...
The trail of a mysterious car : a red Overland Roaster which was seen in the area at the time of Oda Mae's dissapearance, and also when two other black babies have gone missing earlier this year. And the trailer led him right into the park. The locals have seen the car going that way.
Unfortunately, Marlowe's player isn't luckier than Ursula's with the dice and the whole group starts expressing both hilarity in front of the guys' misfortune and anxiety for the things to come.
Marlowe also meets someone but not a familiar face. Instead it's Frank Kowalski, a nervous young man claiming that he is searching for his sister Alice who ran away from their parents' house last week.The Kowalskis used to camp in Bridgewater Park and the owner of a nearby restaurant said he did see a girl looking like her, hitchking. Of course, Marlowe cannot help himself from telling the guy that he was looking for a missing child so of course Kowalsk gets even more nervous and asks to follow the private investigator.
Time flows and the night is falling on the park when Ursula and Herbert bumps into a cabin in the woods. Oddly enough, the place looks deserted and fortified, like someone was trying to prevent something from getting inside.
Near the cabin, they finds Professor Scott Woods from the Miskatonic University of Arkham, yet another member of their group. The professor, who grew up in Fall River, a town located near the park, says he's here because his relative told him about the strange change in the temperature. Naturally curious, he took this opportunity to be away from the University and anything that could remind him what he saw in Octavia and went straight to Bridgewater to investigate on this bizarre phenomenon.
He found the Lake Nippenicket filled with hundreds of rotting dead fish and then he got lost (Yes, him too!) and now that he sees Ursula and Herbert he regrets his decision of coming here. Maybe it wasn't a good idea after all.
The male journalist chooses this moment to talk about what brings him here and it's the strangest reason of all : he dreamed about this place. Since Octavia, he has those horrible nightmares where he sees himself in the woods, then in a cave, then face to face with an unknown old man who starts to cry bloody tears while saying in Herbert's ears "Bridgewater". Confused and scared, the reporter has made a lot of research to find the meaning of the dream and then he's accidently bumped into someone who let go a map of the state of Massachusetts, a map showing the Bridgewater Park. And now that he is here, Herbert is more and more convinced that's no coincidence that the three of them meet here.
The trio decides to force its way into the cabin, then they starts searching the place. Herbert then studies the few notes and books they found in one of the room while Scott examines the locked trap-door at the very end of the main corridor. Suddenly, the men hears Ursula screaming from the bedroom she was searching and they run only to find her alone in the room with a celluloid cylinder in her hand and a pale terror on her face. She mumbles about a dead man, on the bed. "An old man with his eyes gouged out!"
Scott examines the bed thoroughly : no one is here but the mattress looks like some was lying on it for a very long time. Ursula insists that she isn't seeing things but the men remain silent... Scott is sceptical but Herbert, on the other end, starts shaking. The mention of an old man with missing eyes feels too similar to his dream. He sees the cylinder in Ursula's hands and recognize the thing : "Those are used to record sound", he says, and so they decide to play it using the phonograph they found in the living room.
Meanwhile, in the darkness of the woods, Marlowe and Kowalski finally meet with Doctor Francis Bertillon, last member of the escapade in Octavia but, this time, accompanied by his cousin Adolphe Beaumont, local farmer who would like to find and kill the animal that killed his sheeps. The meeting isn't without a bit of hilarity, Marlowe's player being as lucky as ever, the private eye almost got himself shot by accident by Adolphe.
But before Marlowe could talk about the Evers case, they all hear a roar coming from nearby. It sounds like a bear, a very angry bear and suddenly the beast sounds less pissed and more in pain. Cautiously, they follow the sounds and find the animal, lying on the ground right in from of its den. Blood is flowing from beneath his belly and his eyes only express fear and suffering. The bear just doesn't have the strength to move anymore. Adolphe put the bear out of his misery then Bertillon starts examining the wounds : the bear was eviscerated and by something huge. Also, it looks like the animal was sick, so sick he was losing his hair. Adolphe and Marlowe find strange footprints on the ground near the bear and the farmer doesn't recognize which animal they may belong to.
That's when the group hears the growling. Quickly, they hide inside the den, as best as they can and they see three bobcats which immediatly go to the bear to scavenge its carcass. The group decides silently to remain inside the den until the predators have finished their dinner.
In the cabin, everyone is even more anxious after they've heard the recording. Apparently the cabin's owner was some kind of inventor and he has created a device that made him see something terrible... Something that has been chasing him in the woods and into cabin, something he didn't managed to locked down in the basement or maybe he did?
Scott and Ursula are not so sure if the man was talking about one specific creature or about several beasts. Maybe there is one outside and one trapped underground? (And during the conversation, I get very proud of how things turn out)
Anyway, the recording lets them think that the man has killed himself but one way or another, the corpse is missing... Last but not least, they don't appreciate how it looks like the inventor was helped by "friends from Europe"... They remember too well the story of the quiet town of Octavia which turned into a community of madmen performing unspeakable pagan rituals and ghoulish crimes after a french fortune-teller has gone and lived a few months there.
Half-exhausted and half-scared, they decide to camp inside the cabin. Ursula will sleep in the living room while Scott is on watch and Herbert is still
The bobcats gone, the others make a run for it. Their goal : leaving the park through the south entrance, go to Adolphe's farm to search for ammo and better weapons before coming back for the baby and Kowalski's sister. They are so desperate they even ignore a scream of agony coming from afar but before long, they starts smelling something...
A foul odor surrounding her. It's not the smell of death but something else. Something even more aggresive.
Then they see it. Tall figure in the dark, about twenty meters in front of them. Something big. Something with abnormally long arms. It looks humanoid from here but it can't be human and the odor is worse.
They scream and they run away.
They run without paying attention to the direction and they arrive at the damned cabin (And finally I have all of the PCs in the same spot!). They knock at the door, asking anyone inside to let them in. They get inside and everyone has the "What are you doing here" conversation while the doctor, Kowalski and Marlowe try tro see through the barricaded windows if that thing is still oustide. Because they sure still can smell it!
As fast as it appears, the odor is gone and they start to relax a bit. After listening to the recording, they all debate about exploring the basement and the yes wins (Marlowe is quite stubborn, you see, for all of his companions displeasure). Down there, they only find an axe, a hammer and a few nails and pieces of woods. No monster or corpse here. Every each of the disarmed character picks a weapon and they all go to sleep after they decided the shifts.
The next morning they try to eat (Some of them came with food) and talk about what to do next. Marlowe, whose player is still as lucky as ever, starts explaining he just had that awful dream last night.
(I've taken the idea from Amidst the Ancient Trees : Each sleeping character has to make a POW check. If he/she fails, he/she must pick a "Nightmare card")
A dream where he was in some swamps, surrounded by the dead bodies of men dressed in a very strange manner... Like they were going to some costume party or whatever and some of them had been killed by arrows...
Herbert, then speaks about the books they found in the cabin. Whoever was this place's owner, he had an interest in philosophy, optics and Native American culture. Herbert also tells the Bertillon, Marlowe, Adolphe and Kowalski about his own dreams and everyone agrees that maybe the dreams are here to help them and that they should go north to find the swamps, as indicated on Ursula's map of the area. (And FYI, Herbert's dreams are going to be a plot element of the whole campaign I'm building). Finally, Ursula convinces the others that if they find any clues regarding the Thunderbird or the location of Howard Stern they will take the time to go investigate it.
A few hours later, the group finds a path marked by dream-catchers hanging from the trees. Begrudgingly they follow the path and find another cabin with a woman a bit younger than Scott Woods, singing and playing the drum. Surprisingly, the woman, who is called Agatha Blackwell, and Scott know each other from their childhood at the Fall River Orphanage.
Agatha explains to her long lost friend that she was adopted by Kathleen Blackwell, the so-called "Witch" they used to be scared about as kids. And with no such thing as shyness, Agatha tells them that she has become, like her late foster mother, the local cunning-woman. She prepares remedies and helps women to give birth.
When asked about the heat and the mutilated animals, Agatha explains her concern about the situation and she says she doesn't know anything about that.
Agatha lets them all rest a bit in her cabin, giving them water and writing indications on their map to help them find Howard Stern. They also learn that an old photographer named Mason Darrow has a cabin not far from here. They all hypothesize that it might be the cabin where they spent the night and that this Darrow guy is probably dead by now.
Later, they bump into Howard and Eli Stern, father and son who are here to hunt. Ursula finally gets the opportunity to get the information she needs for her story but Howard answers that the Thunderbird is now gone. He thinks the animal wasn't dead but unconscious and that it eventually ran away when given the chance. Howard agrees to lead the group to Deadman's Hills where they shot the Thunderbird.
There, they find the place where the gigantic bird crashed and the place is surrounded by the same strange footprints Marlowe and Adolphe have found the night before around the bear.
Following smoke at the horizon, higher on the hills, the group finds an abandoned camp. The tents are torn apart and there are blood everywhere. They even find a dead body. It looks like a beast has attacked the camp and Bertillon and Marlowe start wondering if the scream they ignored last night wasn't coming from here...
Scott and Herbert find a few clues in the remains of the camp : It appears that it was some anthrophological expedition organized by a museum in Salem. They also find some opium, a book, some notes from what appears to be the leader of the expedition, and strange papers wrapped together in a leather ribbon.
Following human footprints going from the camp to the south of the hills, they arrive at a clearing with strange circles of small erected stones with animal pictures carved into them upside down.
Then, suddenly, they hear another scream from farther to the south.
There, they all freeze. They can't believe what they see : a man is floating in the air, his chest and abdomen being torn open by invisible claws. They all go back, exception Howard who tries to shoot it. Seconds laters, they hear the hunter's agony and they run fasting, forcing terrorised Eli (Who is 12 years old) to follow. They all retreat to the stone circle, hoping that it offers some magical protection. They position themselves, those armed with rifles (Francis and Adolphe) and pistol (Marlowe) taking aim, the others preparing for the worst. Except Ursula who decides to prepare her camera. She might not take a picture of a Thunderbird but she will definitatly bring back a photo of that thing if she can capture its image with the camera.
Seconds pass. Everyone is nervous. Then the odor reappears and the monster enters the scene : right next to Adolphe! He just appears right out of thin air! The farmer falls on the ground in fear, then just before the creature has the chance to attack, Marlowe and Bertillon make their shots. The beast seems severely wounded and it vanishs.
(Also, Ursula did managed to take a picture of it!)
Before they could help him stand, Adolphe loses it : he runs away into the woods below. Marlowe and Bertillon try to chase him but they lose him. Right after that they hear another human scream from the woods. The monster has claimed another victim.
Going back to where they've left Howard Stern, they find nothing but his empty hunting rifle. The hunter's kid gets catatonic and Ursula has to help him go anywhere. The man they're heard dying before isn't there anymore either.
Still shaking from the fight, they see a strange figure to the south : a man with a bizarre mask made of leather. Maybe an Native? Maybe someone who knows what is going on here!
They goes to the south only to find the man standing on the edge of a cliff (The place is really called the Ledge) and then he jumps. Scott is the only one who runs to the edge but he sees nothing below. No body, no trace of a fall. His mind just can't compute what happens (He fails the SAN Roll and loses 7 points but manages to also fail the INT roll). He panicks and crawls away from the cliff, bumping into a stone which seems to mask a hole in the rocky ground.
Inside, the group find skelettons... Little skelettons... Babies with a crack on their skull. And the decomposed body of Oda Mae Evers.
As Scott recognize the smell emited by the hole, an odor he thinks he's smelled before, they all realize that Frank Kowalski is missing...