What they found in Mr. Corbitt’s basement

Posted: July 29, 2012 by mearrin69 in Gaming
Tags: , , ,

Last Sunday we picked up where we left off.

Monday morning came and Helen Brewer and Sam Green gathered at Harland Doyle’s house at 11:30 am, as agreed the night before. Helen had, thoughtfully, brought with her a covered basket so they could visit Mr. Corbitt’s back yard under the guise of “vegetable picking”. They crossed the street at noon, walking casually so as to attract no attention even though few neighbors were expected to be home and Harland knew from observation that Corbitt rarely, if ever, returns home for lunch.

On reaching the back yard, the group examined the steps to the cellar entrance and the back door to the kitchen. They decided to try the kitchen door. It was locked, of course, but Sam had it open in a trice. They entered and looked around the ground floor. Noticing nothing of real interest, they located what must be the door to the basement, also locked, and Sam again plied his locksmithing skills with great success. Helen and Sam proceeded into the basement and had a look around the fairly normal laundry and mudroom/storage area while Harland investigated upstairs.

In the  kitchen, Harland found some nice thinly sliced Virginia ham from the deli in the refrigerator and took a little to nibble. Mr. Corbitt’s front room, he saw, was set up as a sort of home office: on the desk was a binder brimming with extensive notes on botany and, on the shelf above the desk, was a collection of what appeared to be journals and a number of odd volumes with titles like True Magick and at least one titled in an unknown (to Harland anyway) language. Finding nothing of apparent significance, Harland decided to leave again through the back door and examine the small basement windows at the front of the house…the windows from which odd sounds had been heard the night before.

Meanwhile, down in the basement, Helen and Sam had discovered nothing of real interest except for two locked doors, both apparently leading into a room on the west side of the house. The lock on the door from the mudroom was too difficult for Sam’s skill but he reckoned he could jimmy the other with a little effort and set to work on it. Around the time the lock was just  about ready to give up, Harland managed to slide open the unlocked basement window at the front of the house. As he did so, he heard glass breaking and saw some movement. Sam called out to him and he tried to answer but communication proved difficult. Looking in, Harland noted a rumpled blanket and bowl of water in the corner of what appeared to be a work room of some sort. He assumed Corbitt perhaps kept a dog in his basement, though he had never noticed the man with one, and shouted into the basement to warn his friends (MA: Accomplices? It is a B&E, after all!) 

Harland lowered himself into the room, wary of Mr. Corbitt’s pet, which he could now hear in the room straight ahead. Around that time, the creature must have become even more spooked because it began bashing into the very door Sam was attempting to unlock. Sam persevered and soon heard the lock click. He opened it a crack, expecting a dog’s snout. He did not, however, expect an arm with painted nails to squirm through the gap, accompanied by a catlike-hissing sound. Helen began to shriek and Sam forced the door closed. He sent her up to close the door to the cellar…which she gladly did. She was more than happy to be on the other side when it closed.

Sam slowly opened the door and found that the creature had retreated to hide under a table. Both he and Harland, now cautiously entering the lab from the work room, took in its disturbing visage at about the same time: it appeared to be a woman’s head, but with two arms sprouting from where there would normally be ears and a single leg attached somehow to its neck. It behaved rather more like a cat than a dog, and especially more so than a woman-head-with-arms-and-a-leg-thing, and appeared quite scared. Sam lost his cool a bit but both he and Harland grabbed brooms and similar implements with the idea of shooing it into a kennel Harland had noticed in the work room.

Upstairs, Helen was still recovering from her fright but regained her composure enough to begin her own investigation of the first floor. In the front room, she flipped through the botanical journal and noticed some odd notations that she felt Dale would surely understand. She also paged through the journals – there were several of them, apparently one for each of the last fourteen years. What she found there disturbed her greatly but, nonetheless, she scooped them and the botanical notes into her basket when she later heard Harland and Sam climbing the basement stairs.

After a great deal of effort, Harland and Sam managed to get the scampering woman-thing into the kennel and locked the door. They looked around the lab and found an extensive collection of surgical implements, what appeared to be a refrigerated chest with (possibly) human connective tissues, and other strange things. In the back of a locked and empty closet, Sam discovered a loose panel and decided to open it despite the strong smell and odd gurgling noise coming from within. Inside he beheld an impossibility: a creature whose body appeared to be a huge, dense mucus with the consistency of an overcooked pudding. On its surface three great vents, closed by wrinkly lips, rhythmically aspirated with puffing, wheezing sounds. Ten children’s legs of various colors and sizes rimmed the lower part of the body, while fifteen chubby little arms encircled the upper side, writhing and grasping at nothing.

Sam quickly shut the panel, exited the closet, and relocked the door. “We need to go,” he whispered to Harland. Trembling and silent about what he had seen, Sam retained the presence of mind to enlist Harland in carefully wiping down any fingerprints they might have left and they prepared to leave the basement following one more task: releasing the woman-thing from its kennel. This, thankfully, was achieved without additional drama (though gazing upon it again was not pleasurable) and the pair went upstairs, closing and relocking doors behind them. They found Helen in the front room, cleaned up anything touched, and exited again by the back door. Back at Harland’s home, the group went their separate ways, agreeing to meet up again that evening at Dr. Black’s country estate.

Helen neglected to mention the purloined journals and notebook. She later showed these to Dale, who found them quite interesting, and brought them with her to Dr. Black’s that evening. They told an unusual tale: Corbitt’s father slain by an Indian “god”  called Ramasekva who later began to make demands of him, including to be allowed to father a child on his wife and for him to surgically alter the unholy, shapeless spawn of that union as it matured, to prepare it for life on this plane of existence. It detailed Corbitt’s dark experiments with tissue grafting and his rituals to contact this Ramasekva to learn his bidding. It spoke of the “child’s” future role as the “Bridge”, a necessary part of “The Opening of the Way”…whatever that may be.

Upon examining the journals, the members of the group knew that they must learn more. Was Corbitt merely mad, or was something more afoot? It was decided that all but Harland would spend Tuesday investigating the matter further and then decide what to do. Dale and Quinton would go to the Miskatonic University to investigate the odd supernatural things mentioned in the journal while Dr. Black would looke into a certain Mr. Tomaszewski, a hospital orderly who had apparently supplied body parts to Corbitt, and Helen and Sam would visit the town dump, where Mr. Corbitt has been retrieving the parts left for him by Tomaszewski.

We’ll take up this case once again next Sunday.
MA

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