Vivian Jones reporting, September 1939.
I need to reiterate that I am a civilian and that my expertise as an archaeologist lies in deciphering old texts as well burial practices. I don’t want to say I regret coming on this expedition, but I want to remind you that I turned down the chance to go to Venice this past fall with an archaeologist colleague of mine. An intriguing find, a supposed first hand account of the search for the Holy Grail, was dropped in his hands and needed on location research to verify authenticity. Perhaps it is for the best as he has a reputation for questionable acquisition practices. Anyway, on a positive note I do have an opportunity to use my skills with SotED.
After two months in Poland, that seemed more like six months, more confusion was created while traveling out of Poland. We heard bells from under water and then next thing we woke up in a forest. To my dismay, an owl flew overhead. While personally not superstitious, I am familiar with the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe of British Columbia and their belief that the owl's call can portend a death. I suspect Joe would fall for this folktale all too easily. He seems a little naive and gullible.
We met three people in the forest, two women and a man, dressed in incredibly antiquated clothes. Not merely outdated, but I project around 500 to 1000 years out of date. I would have asked Milos Budar if these seemed to be costumes, but he has left our party for an acting opportunity. I understand Milos is to understudy Paul Henreid in an upcoming war movie. We now have Bob in our party. Yes, Bob. Just Bob. He is not forthcoming on details.
Nathaniel, Clara and Catherine, the three strangers, asked if we had seen a young dark-haired woman by the name of Sara Brown. Her other attributes are she is popular with sailors (?!) and very charming. I am sure she is charming if she is popular with sailors. Someone else to keep away from young Joe. If we see her, we are to ask her to meet up with them again.
We left the woods for the village of Dunwitch. On the road we saw several windmills. We arrived at what looks like an old medieval walled city. The appearance was enhanced by guards in leather armor and a veritable rabbit warren of streets within. As it was very late and we were exhausted, Kai asked in his usual pleasant manner if there was a place to shelter. The Harbor Inn or one of the churches was mentioned.
We passed more windmills and several churches, when we heard the guards shout there was a fire. We all ran out the Guilden Gate to see a windmill on fire. A man ran out of the windmill saying there was someone on the top floor. ET and I ran in as the men stayed outside with the bucket brigade. ET reported she saw pots of oil around and we both concluded arson. I went upstairs and saw to my horror a crucified man, nailed to the wall by two knives with runes all over him. A priest’s collar and a silver cross lay near the body.
I showed the collar and the cross to the guard who identified them as belonging to Father Fynche. Guards were very uneasy about the situation. ET implying confusion over the smoke inhalation that we all experienced asked the big $60,000 question, “What year is it?” 1287 was the rather depressing response. I might be more excited about finding myself in medieval times if I had actually studied the era. Roman and Egyptian burial practices are not going to be much help here. I hope we get out of here soon as hygiene is at a minimum, and it’s no coincidence the Middle Ages are also called the DARK Ages.
We spied some footprints with a conveniently unusual divet in the print and oil drops leading back to the village and into a residential section. Another burning house that turned out to be the “pretty and charming to sailors” Sara Brown’s house. ET went into the burning building, and I am sure I don’t need to tell you what happened if you have read past reports regarding ET. She suffered some significant smoke damage and was rescued by Bob, he of no last name.
Joe spotted a suspicious looking man. Kai, Joe and I ran after him and Joe tackled him to the ground. The man, a Ralph Hawkins, simply reeked of oil. He also reeked of alcohol and had a triangular shaped face. Joe was in a righteous temper and punched Hawkins in the face when he refused to talk. With intimidation by Kai and another punch by Joe, Hawkins admitted he had been hired by a Levett to set fire to the house. He mentioned that Sara Brown was with Levett so we left for the house he indicated, one with a brass lattern.
Unlike most of the other houses, this was more well to do and we could hear servants in the house. Kai walked into the kitchen to bully what I assume was the butler by saying ET would pull his toes off unless he talked. No comment.
I spotted some scrolls with the runes similar to those I saw on the poor crucified man. I could identify them as spells. We heard a bell ring again, a woman’s voice, and wind and rain hit hard as the roof came off the house and….
We were back in the forest as the same owl flew overhead. Kai ran immediately for the windmill that had burned and we saw a priest at the door. It was Father Fynche. We asked if he had seen Ralph Hawkins.
As Joe and I went into the windmill, Kai explained the situation regarding with Ralph Hawkins and Levett as Bob and ET guarded the building. RH attacked and we engaged in combat. Covered in flour, Joe pulled a knife covered in flour from Hawkins to show Fynche.
Once again, the question arose, “Why would anyone want to kill the priest?”
Father Fynche stated that Levettt is a scoundrel who wants something. He directed us to go to yet another church, a St. Bartholemew.
Caleb: Love it! Just a short mention: Dunwich in Lovecraft sounds like “Dunnich” while in England it sounds like “Dunidge” to the pest of my limited research. Also, love the bits about the Holy Grail but I wonder if that would be the Senior archaeologist of the Junior archaeologist... Last but not least here is the Dramatis personae of our investigation, though the depiction of Miss Browne is rather suggestive!