[Emma and Vivian lose 10 points of stability, then 2 points of sanity because massive stability loss, then 2 more points because Golgoroth!
Murphy is scaring me now. Willingly made a deal with Golgoroth, signed up for this ungoldly and terrible power, and is now on an even keel about all of this. Still convinced that the world is rational. And I just made a rational, sensible deal. Sober and sincere handshake with this Elder God, and then walked away knowing exactly what I’ve done, precisely why, and I don’t regret a moment of it. Time to start.]
So. I am damned. The only way this can have any meaning is if we succeed.
We need to find the Maw of the Mouth within the Devouring Mountain.
We need to find this liar, this deceiver that has stolen Golgoroth’s power, and bring forth Golgoroth to destroy it.
Vivian starts gibbering, babbling madly. A moment later Emma joins them. Trying to leave. The only way we can calm Emma down enough to stay here until we’re ready to leave is by handing her a blanket, telling her that if she holds it tightly we’ll be able to get out faster.
Rick Luke and the porters are slowly waking up from their faint. The kid can get us back to Merida; we pack up food, water, bare supplies to get back. We squeeze out the window slits, move back down the pyramid towards the plaza.
Twilight now, very quiet. Not many birds. At least I know that we don’t have to fear the Daughter anymore. [editor’s note: from this point on, Murphy appears to refer to the beast—the strange hunting creatures—as “Daughters”, possibly the “Daughters of Golgoroth”. This must have been an effect of the vision or hallucination that broke his mind/set him on his future path.]
Henry leads us out into the jungle; we find a clear area to set up camp. Notice some shell casings, which may have been from bandits before.
Everyone seems more relaxed once we get out into the jungle; we set a watch, for bandits, to keep the women from running off.
Over the next 4 days, we return to Merrida. Turns out that the kid isn’t half bad as a guide. We make good time—porters and Rick Luke are VERY eager to return. None of them mention anything out of the ordinary; porters talk about the bodies we found, and bandits. Mundane horrors.
When we’re almost there, I ask our 2 porters about Castillo. They hadn’t worked with him before, didn’t know he was planning to turn on us. Didn’t think police would be able to do anything, since it happened on De La Vega’s land. And stuff like this happens. It’s clear Vega is working with the bandits.
Can’t do anything about it, though. He works with murderers, and deserves to die, and it’s not like I am a cop any more.
But I can’t do anything about it. If we don’t get the women to help… Doctors? Shrinks? Then we can’t fight Golgoroth’s enemy. I can’t do it on my own. We need to leave. Get them cured. Then find the Maw.
We drive into town in the abandoned truck (good thing I found the key in the pocket of one of the bodies. Porters leave. Rick follows for me to buy his book from him.
Return to our room…Frank is asleep on the sofa. He wakes up; goes to arrange help for the ladies— hotel maids to help them get clean, get dressed. Food for us. Headshrinkers in town?
We get clean. Start to relax.
Henry suggests we call JWR, and that name seems to perk Vivian up. We call, I start to explain that we’re okay, that she shouldn’t say anything to alarm Vivian. JWR interrupts rudely, but then spends an hour talking to V. Seems to calm her down a little bit.
H and JWR also talk briefly for the first time.
JWR wants us back as soon as possible.
Full night’s rest. In a bed! After what, 10 days? More? Did we lose time in that pyramid? A long time in the jungle.
Doctor comes, good health all around. V and E suffered trauma, need extended rest. Clearly his fee was worthwhile, with THIS kind of diagnosis and treatment.
E’s comfort blanket could have done better.
. . .
Days of flying, and we make it back to Arkham.
We find E’s address book, a “Dr. Spencer Winston”. Call him—Psychiatrist. He picks her up; takes care of her over several weeks, coaxing her back to herself.
Frank Kearns drives V back to Janet’s. V spends weeks recovering, probably focused just on fashion and cars and famous people and 50-room mansions.
Henry gets to NYC (JWR wires money for a bus ticket; I loan him some warm clothes.) – his sister, nephew have moved out of Harlem, to a Brooklyn apartment—-with a spare room!
I get to Boston. Mary and [insert husband’s name] sent letters, postcards. I go to their apartment, am amazed by their pictures. Venice is…beautiful. Most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Somebody needs to build one of those Palatzo’s off of Back Bay!