Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Last Interlude: August 30, 1926 – September 4, 1926

The London Group’s destruction of the ancient and malignant throne has wrought a powerful change on Easter Island. The moai that once ringed Rano Raraku have all crumbled into dust, and the moai of the ancestors, also called the Watchers by the indigenous people, briefly sent beams of light out from their stony eyes to blaze across the southwestern Pacific. 

In the wake of these signs and portents, the villagers of Huanga-Roa begin a celebration that lasts three days, much to the consternation and confusion of the inhabitants of the Chilean naval base. The group could, if they wished, explain the true reasons behind this celebration to the Chileans, but would they be believed? 

For their part, the Chilean sailors at the base, led by Captain Pereira , are also happy at the London Group’s return, for they have also brought eight of the nine missing people out of the island’s depths to safety. Of the ninth person, there is no sign (and alas, there never will be), and of the remaining eight, they are so deeply scarred and traumatized by their capture and imprisonment that they will likely never recover. Despite this, their friends, colleagues, and families are grateful that they have been returned alive, if not whole. The native islanders and Professor Methridge are quite effusively grateful, offering up humble gifts of food or promises to co-author various papers, as appropriate.

The members of the London Group have not escaped their adventures unscathed. Johnny’s eyes will take some time to recover and may never fully heal. Dr. Black, critically injured by the explosion that destroyed the throne, lays unconscious for two days before finally beginning to recover. Though the doctor is relieved to be alive, he privately fears that his continued dabbling in the mystic arts—as well as his failing constitution—may make him increasingly vulnerable to possession by the long-dead Khaad Vishtu, the ancient priest-aspirant of the Nameless City.

Across the world, in a guest house in New York City, Ron Deluca also recovers from his exertions. As he convalesces and curses the Ouroboros Ring for being such a cruel master, he finds that his relationships with his family members have deteriorated still further. No one answers his calls at the Brooklyn brownstone that was once his home, and, by all accounts, his son and wife are too terrified by recent, strange events to want to be in his company.

While their companions recover, the other members of the London Group work late into the night, poring over Vivian’s notes, the fragments of arcane lore that they have collected in their travels, and the Tome of Great R’lyeh that they brought up from the tunnels beneath Easter Island. Between them, they manage to work out an altered version of the spell Raise R’lyeh, which will cause the Island of the Herald to swiftly sink beneath the sea. But will it be enough?

September 4, 1926

A tidal wave of immense power smashes into the southern shores of Easter Island, toppling moai statues and destroying part of the coastline. Thankfully, there are no casualties—whether human or sheep—but everyone on the island is terrified despite this.

Captain Pereira radios his superiors. Meanwhile, anchored at sea, Captain Keane of the Golden Bear also contacts anyone who can explain the terrifying tsunami. Both receive reports of incredible seismic activity centered on a region of the Pacific about a thousand miles to the southwest of Easter Island—the same direction indicated by the Watcher moai. This coincidence is not lost on the members of the London Group.

For the Chilean government, however, the seismic activity indicates a potential opportunity. Believing that it is the result of a new, volcanic island rising from the depths of the Pacific, they task Captain Pereira with sending out a research team to survey the island—if one can be found—and officially claim it in the name of Chile.

As the London Group and the remnants of Dr. Methridge’s team are the only things approaching scientists in the area—at least, as far as Captain Pereira and his superiors are aware—they are asked to travel to the center of the seismic activity on behalf of the Chilean government.

The London Group makes grim determination, realizing that they will not have enough time to recover from the incidents on Easter Island before setting sail to face their greatest challenge yet… 

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