easter '96 - Session 15

15. Ritualis

---            RITUALIS            ---
---           (20. 6.96)           ---

	We stood in the cave, Prof Hargreaves running wildly towards us, a
great hulking monstrosity charging after him - after a brief consultation
we decided to run.. The thing ran passed us, straight towards the only
known way out - the bar. 'Perhaps we should try a different passage' We
wandered around a few tunnels, obese fish-faced humanoids coming in large
numbers from every orifice, but seemingly ignoring us - perhaps they had
something larger on their minds. We finally tried the tunnel towards the
bar on the pretext that it could have easily already killed us and anyway,
a few floor boards probably couldn't have stoppped it.
	We found John Aintree lying on the floor in the tunnel, we picked
him up and fled. The trapdoor opened easily and we were back in the
abandoned village - no water or food around. After a running battle with
two of Allerton's goons, we started the car and left rapidly - only
running out of petrol an hour into the drive.
	John and William were in a bad state - physically and mentally
exhausted, possessing a strange translucency to their skin. We thought it
best to keep an eye on them.
	Arriving back at Arkham, we found our houses had been destroyed in
a 'random' spate of arson attacks. Forced to take lodging at the
university, we received a telegram from the university librarian saying
that, after a recent stock take, an ancient manuscript was missing -
presumably taken by Arnold Witticker (and subseqently removed by the maid
from the study.) The only other copy of this manuscript resides in the
British library. The Prof. quickly used his contacts at Cambridge to
secure a viewing and we booked passage to England.
	A brief bit of research at Arkam UL turned up the fact that the
well known authority on Americian-Indian artifacts, William Tattler, had
been on an archaeological dig to Africa - only a little bit removed from
his field of expertese. We deduced that this is the location of the caves,
but why would Tattler have gone to Africa if he claimed he found the
'ritual cave-paintings' by accident during the course of his ordinary
	Having quickly prepared our little expoedition to cope with the
notorious climate of England, oh and Africa as well, we boarded a ship
bound for Portsmouth - fully expecting plenty of wierd shit to happen, a
normal part of traveling for us realy. John noticed some people who, after
boarding, disappeared - although he still hadn't recovered and his
judgement is probably a bit suspect. Jeremiah decided a doctor was
probably required.
	The ships engines stopped, the mechanics completely flumuxed about
the cause - the ship slowly started to spin around. Loud splashes were
heard outside, strange 'jelly fish'-like comets were falling alround the
ship, quickly sinking out of sight. A wirlpool formed around the ship and
it was slowly sucked downwards, a tunnel of air formed in the sea - Moses
eat your heart out.
	We saw other tunnels leading as far down as the eye could see; a
worm, approximatly the same dimensions of the rod, but as wide as the ship
was long, shot up a nearby tunnel - the braver members of the party looked
down to see another worm gaining quite rapidly on the ship. Rev Peters
drew his Swiss-army compass and tried to move the ship away. The ship
lurched upwards, tipping to one side and finally it was straightened out
and placed gentaly back in the water. The ships food was almost uneventful
after that. Prof Hargreaves had almost recovered from his earlier anemiam,
John on the other hand... We eventual got the faculty of medcine at
Cambridge to check him out - no result.
	Arriving in Portsmouth, we supervised the unloading and storing of
our 'equipment' (read shotguns) and took the next train to London. The
manuscript had already been checked out, 1.5 million pounds 'for academic
research' - an incredibly rare, if not implausible, event. The culprit was
one Prof Hargreaves, of Cambridge university - address to be forwarded.
After informing the police a national treasure has been stolen, checking
ship times and asking round nearby hotels - we finally had the idea of
asking the Library for a copy of the passport details used to check out
the book. The number matched someone on the ship (name on PP obviously
changed) who booked at the same office as us, along with three companians.
Informing the police, we were again stuck since the thief had now a days
head start.
	A brain wave - if the manuscript was so valuble, wouldn't the
library have made a copy of such a rare book? Censored. Only very few
pages remain for public perrusal. Apparently no-one had suceeded in
viewing the original manuscript since the copy was censored 50 years ago.
Prof Hargreaves got onto the government - 'If I'm eligible to view the
original, surely I should be able to see the copy.' Someone loves red
tape. We begin to suspect that the book may have been checked out by the
government rather than Allerton - this is perhaps too dangerous to assume
	According to the catalog entry the book was written in a
combination of Latin, ancient Greek and Sanscrit. Theorising that the
ammount of people proficent in those languages is probably quite small,
and certainly not in the direct employ of the gvoernment - we immediately
took a trip over to Cambridge; learning of an old proffessor, now in a
retirement home, who certainly fitted the brief perfectly.
	We popped along, asking about the book - apparently censored
because it contained dangerous knowledge. The government asked this poor
man to read the very book which drove Arnold to suicide, since he was an
expert on such matters - we felt humbled been in the presence of someone
whose Mythos knowledge exceeded the parties combined total.
	The book 'Lieber Ritualis' is a list of rituals and bits of folk
lore about them - apparently useless with the cave paintings, but
certainly dangerous in conjuction with them. On two books, he theorised
that Allerton would want to make absolutely sure that he had the ritual
perfect. On the prof's prompting, he also theorised that maybe there's one
ritual running disguised throughout the book - disturbing thought.
	Deciding the old man could probably look after himself, we warned
him against Allerton and departed for Africa - Taking a boat to the
northern coast and driving down by truck to the cave's location. Taking
watches on the first night, Rev. Peters decided to take the 5am slot -
after a round of 'nice knowing you' etc. Jeremiah settled down to read his
lovely mythos tome and changed in two hours, little happening.
	Waking suddenly, Dr Jones realised he'd over slept his watch by
15min and quickly got out to find Father Michael face down in the dirt -
heart weakly beating and a massive bite mark right across his shoulder.



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