January 18, 1925
Deciding to abandon Ju-Ju House to the degenerate cultists within, Lou and Claude made their way back to the hotel.
That morning Miriam Atwright called the investigators to inform them of what she had learned of the Bloody Tongue cult. Atwright described the cult’s history in Africa and the cult’s rune. The investigators immediately recognized it as the rune carved in Elias’ forehead.
The investigators went to meet Erica Carlyle having led her to believe that her brother may still be alive. Carlyle seemed nonplussed to be meeting with the team, but gave them valuable information about Jack Brady, Roger Carlyle’s confidant; Dr. Robert Huston, Carlyle’s psychoanalyst; and M’Weru, an enigmatic African woman with whom Carlyle was romantically involved. Erica Carlyle surmised that if Jack Brady was still alive (as Jackson Elias had recorded in his notes) then the odds of her brother being alive were high. Erica agreed to underwrite an expedition to Kenya to get to the truth of the matter.
Prior to their departure, the group went to the former offices of Dr. Robert Huston to attempt to see notes of Carlyle’s sessions. Huston’s partner was reluctant to distribute such sensitive information to lay persons, but a letter of introduction from Erica Carlyle and Courvoisier’s medical background eventually led him to relent. The session notes revealed that Roger Carlyle had been plagued by dreams of Egypt and of being drawn into a pulsating ball of energy. Additionally, Carlyle’s devotion to M’Weru bordered on the obsessive. A final cryptic note indicated that Huston was somehow persuaded to join the Carlyle expedition despite having concerns over what his role would be.
January 25, 1925
After traveling first-class on the Laurentides, the team arrived in South Hampton early in the morning. During the three day layover before the Ineluctable departed for Mombasa by way of Port Said, the investigators decided to investigate a clue discovered in Elias’ hotel room: a card for Edward Gavigan, director of the Penhew Foundation.
The team arrived in London in the mid-afternoon and purchased a copy of The Scoop, a lowbrow tabloid. The headline decried the twenty-fourth killing in a string of slayings that had beset London for three years. The victim had been severely beaten, stabbed through the heart, and cast into the Thames.
After catching up on the local news, the group made their way to the Penhew Foundation located in central London. There they introduced themselves to the director Edward Gavigan, a dapper man in his fifties. Once in Gavigan’s office, Claude noticed a floor safe with its door ajar. Gavigan seemed genial although he was unwilling to produce correspondence between Penhew, one of the principals of the Carlyle expedition, and himself claiming that revealed personal information about Carlyle and it would be indelicate to share it with outsiders. A letter of introduction from Erica Carlyle left Gavigan unimpressed. Instead Gavigan showed the team artifacts that the expedition had recovered from the desert. During the endless procession of pottery shards, figurines, and bas-reliefs, Claude snuck off back to Gavigan’s office. Claude rifled through the open safe finding only a packet of five pound notes. After quickly going through the desk and shelves in the room, Claude returns to the group. Unfortunately, Gavigan noticed Claude’s return, cut the tour short, and curtly escorted the investigators to the door.
Determined to smooth over his cohort’s faux pas, Charles re-entered the Penhew Foundation to have a private chat with Gavigan while the rest of the group returned to the hotel to sample the refreshments that non-Prohibition England has to offer. Charles managed to smooth Gavigan’s ruffled feathers, and the two begin a lengthy conversation on Egyptian history. While Gavigan exhibited some artifacts in a storeroom, Charles noticed worn areas on the floor near a dilapidated sarcophagus. After asking several pointed questions about the sarcophagus, which Gavigan dismissed, Charles returned to the hotel.
January 26, 1925
Having related his observations to the team, Charles and the rest decided that Charles should return to the Foundation in the morning and attempt to pose as a cultist. After making his revelation to Gavigan, Charles was lead to the sarcophagus where Gavigan pushed in the two eyes. The sarcophagus moved sideways revealing a staircase leading down into darkness. As the two descended the stairs, Charles heard Gavigan mumbling behind him. Suddenly Charles’ limbs and face began to wither and shrivel. As his internal organs transformed into desiccated husks, Charles let out a groan and passed from this world forever.
As the day wore on, the investigators grew anxious after their friend failed to appear. Courvoisier and Durry decided to confront Gavigan directly while Arnold waited outside. Claude having been seduced by the easy availability of alcohol had begun drinking in the morning and was now thoroughly intoxicated. Gavigan denied any wrong-doing and insisted that Charles had left of his own accord hours ago. Courvoisier deflected this deception when he revealed that the group had been watching the door to the building since morning and had not seen Charles exit. Gavigan stuck to his story and asked the investigators to leave.
Durry extended his hand and when Gavigan took it to shake hands farewell, Durry slammed Gavigan’s face into the desk. While Gavigan was regaining his wits, Durry and Courvoisier both pulled out their weapons and took Gavigan hostage. Hearing all the commotion, the burly secretary/security guard stepped into the room where he quickly lost his stomach for fighting when Courvoisier trained his gun on him.
Demanding to be taken to Charles, Durry followed Gavigan into the storeroom keeping his gun pointed at Gavigan’s head. Gavigan began mumbling again, but before he could finish casting a spell, Durry coshed him on the head with the butt of his pistol and put his hand over Gavigan’s mouth. Gavigan opened the secret passage leading to the basement room, and Courvoisier with his hostage joined them in the storeroom. The two bound and gagged the hostages with some rope they discovered and went to get Arnold to guard the hostages while they explored the basement room.
The room at the end of the stairs contained a large desk with a chest and stone jar on it, a workbench with various glass jars along the back, several open crates and two sealed ones, a large bookcase, and walls covered by terrifying paintings and other perverse objets d’art. In the corner of the room lay the corpse of Charles. Overcome by the sight of his friend dead and the obscene depictions of horror on the walls, Durry momentarily succumbed to madness grabbing his friend’s corpse and sobbing over it.
Courvoisier examined the stone jar on the desk, finding it to contain an unknown sand-like powder. He took the jar, a copy of Liber Ivonis from the bookshelf, and fifteen ancient scrolls. Opening the chest on the desk, he found two ceremonial knives made of silver. Upon seeing the knives, Durry and Courvoisier began to hatch a foul plot. They would kill Gavigan in the manner described in the article they had read yesterday in The Scoop. Then they would kill the secretary and pose the scene to look like a suicide. They would close the corpses up in the secret room giving them time to flee the country before the crime could even be discovered. They could escape the notice of the public by exiting the building via the coal chute into an adjoining alley. Arnold wanted no part of the bloodshed but agreed to deliver fresh clothing to the conspirators after they had crawled up the coal chute.
Once all the details had been covered, it fell to Durry and Courvoisier to execute their dastardly plan. They fell upon Gavigan with clubs, beating him to death, plunged one of the ceremonial daggers into his chest, and carved the rune of the Bloody Tongue into his forehead. They forced the panicked security guard’s mouth open and fired a bullet into his brain. Afterwards they staged scene as they had planned and sat in the basement with their victims’ corpses while they awaited the cover of darkness.
After sundown, they snuck up the coal chute and began changing into the clothes that Arnold had left in the alley. While in the midst of changing, the Penhew Foundation’s night watchman (already on alert due to the absence of his day time counterpart when he arrived that night) rounded the corner to discover the two partially disrobed men. Disturbed by the scene, the watchman ran back into the building to phone the police. With sirens approaching, Durry and Courvoisier finished dressing and casually walked out down the street car as police cars raced by.
January 26, 1925
The next day the cover story in The Scoop held all the lurid details of the Penhew Foundation murders. The investigators remained at the hotel anxiously awaiting the departure of their steamship to Kenya and fearing the knock of the police at their room door.
January 28, 1925
The investigators board the Ineluctable headed to Mombasa by way of Port Said. The enormity of their crimes finally sinks in and both Durry and Courvoisier suffered bouts of madness during the voyage. The rest of the team kept the two confined to quarters.
February 5, 1925
The investigators arrived in Mombasa late in the afternoon.