Sunday, April 19th, 1925 continued:
Spalding produces the writings gained from Ho Fong’s cabinet and asks Mu for his comment. The works are violent, disturbing, but for the most part clearly demonstrate that the authors were well educated, and masters of writing. The works include:
“The Goddess of the Black Fan”, a long poem on a concertina style scroll in Chinese, discussing devotion and horrible rights to the goddess.
“Livre d’Ivon”, a red leather bound octavo which is in French… Ernst does his best to translate some of it, but can’t gain much besides it’s about Ivon the sorcerer dealing with a monster called ‘Satheojue’
“La Lai Yeh Chi”, a collection of bamboo strips laid out pamphlet style enclosed in a jade box in Chinese which talks about the proper worship of k’e t’u lu, a titanic dragon in a submarine city in the Pacific, as well as how it came to be here from distant stars.
“Tale of the Priest Kwan”, a collection of heavy linen paper wrapped in green silk in a black lacquered case. It details the actions of a former Buddhist monk who came to worship the Goddess of the Black Fan, his confrontations and victory over opposing nobles, and a collection of homilies on the Goddesses worship.
“True Magic”, a handsomely bound quarto in English attributed to Theophilus Wenn. A meandering work detailing 7 enchantments used in the summoning and control of various supernatural entites. The author takes long divergences into a wide range of topics, including vampirism, lycanthropy, anthropophagy, minor charms, rites, sacrifices, and lists of demonic beings. Between the pages are some notes on rice paper in Chinese which provide clarification on some of the more obtuse passages. Eastwick has heard of this work and author, mostly in the context of this work causing riots and the owners being lynched.
The party decides they need to find a safe hiding spot to wait out Mu’s work on “The 7 Cryptical Books”. Viljoen-Ballard and Spalding take Eastwick and Henry to the hospital in the Japanese quarter.
Nickels remains remains with Mu and Brady.
Before they go, Brady gives them a contact at a tea house that can get him a message. All they need to do is pass along a code phrase, and the proprietor will pass him a message. He asks them to keep it short.
At the hospital, Ernst, through elocution and the application of money, persuades the Japanese staff to admit the wounded members.
Sunday April 19th through Wednesday the 29th, 1925:
The surgeons operate on Ernst’s face, having difficulty getting everything back just right. It is eventually suitably reconstructed and bandaged. Ernst is discharged, but told to leave the bandages on and let the wounds heal for 3 weeks.
Eastwick’s wounds are treated, and he heals beautifully.
Viljoen-Ballard takes a brief stay to recuperate and ensure there is no lingering damage to himself after being caught in the explosion.
Meanwhile, Spalding quietly gets a room nearby. As the party members are discharged they congragate there. To pass the time, Spalding tries to read “True Magick”, but the language is too obtuse for her.
Wednesday, April 29th 1925:
The party investigates hiring a boat to land an assault on Gray Dragon Island. Inquiries are made of locals, and Ernst observes a familiar Japanese man tailing them. He recognizes his face from their first day at the Stumbling Tiger. He was in workmans clothes then, and is now sporting a completely different class of outfit, but it’s definitely the same man.
Eastwick is out making inqueries of his own, but Ernst and Viljoen-Ballard decide to try and trap their tail. Viljoen-Ballard finds a nice alley with dual exits to try and snare him. Confronted, the man introduces himself as Isoge, and says they might be of mutual benefit. They arrange to talk at a restaurant in an hour. Ernst and Viljoen-Ballard go collect Spalding and head to the restaurant.
When they arrive, Isoge has ordered for them. In short order plates of very good food arrive and Isoge exchanges formalities. Getting around to business, Isoge tells them he knows who they are and what they have done… that they seem to show up at places he has been tracking, and then those places seem to burn down or blow up. It could just be coincidence. Ernst indicates that he and the party deal with an assortment of bad people. Isoge shows them a piece of ripped metal that shines with an iridescence of colors the party has never seen before. Isoge wants to know if the party knows what it is, and asks what they know of the warehouses. Isoge says that Fong and his minions are involved in building a machine on Gray Dragon Island, and that he needs information on and/or the machine itself. He thinks the party is a suitable medium to investigate this. If they are willing, Isoge says he can get them a boat, and will get them more if they can get him what he wants. Ernst tries to talk him off it, saying that if he had seen what he saw, he wouldn’t want it… it’s anathema. All those that have died by their hand are horrible people… Ernst describes some of the things they’ve done. Just the same, Isoge is not deterred. A bargain is struck… Isoge will provide transport and weaponry, and the party will investigate the machine on the island.
Hesitating, but finally as an aside, Isoge asks, curiously, about why a white gorilla would be after them. For no reason. Just asking. The party denies any knowledge.
All quickly finish their meal. Ernst asks that if Isoge’s people see the white gorilla that they kill it. Isoge gives them a piece of red cloth to hang in their window when they are ready. When he see’s it displayed, we will supply a boat, and weapons.
The party returns to Spaldings room, then Ernst and Viljoen-Ballard visit Brady’s tea house to contact him. Ordering tea, they pass the code to the proprietor, and the message that they have a boat, guns, are being watched, and residing at Spaldings rental. The man takes the message, slips it into his sleeves and bows.
Leaving, Ernst sees that they are being tracked. He delays at various shops, conspicuously moving things around, as if giving signals. After passing a number of false impressions, they catch a rickshaw back to Spalding.
A knock at the door. It is Brady, but he is in disguise, wearing a false nose, a wig, and makeup to alter the depth of his face. It’s remarkably well done. Entering, he forcefully blows the nose off, obviously in discomfort.
Brady relates that Mu has finished his preliminary study. The 7 Books are incredibly dense, perhaps infinite, and have not given up all their secrets certainly, but they have enough information to recreate an Eye. It’s possible to fix the Eye fragment they have, but it can only ward an area native to the material. In this case, Egypt. To place one on Gray Dragon island as Brady plans, they’ll need some specific preparations. Amongst them:
The Eye will need to be carved on site in a native, hard, material.
Those chanting will need to be pure souls. It is unlikely any among the party would qualify.
The chanters will be giving up some of their own life which will become the guardian spirit in the Eye.
There will need to be enough chanters… it is possible that they could just drop dead and the chant must go on uninterrupted from moonrise to moonset.
The first chanter needs to be able to create something called ‘The Elder SIgn’
The blood of an innocent will need to fill the pupil at regular intervals throughout the night.
This shouldn’t be enough to cause lasting damage to the individual, but that person will need to have no knowledge of anything that is going on.
The ritual cannot take place if there are enemies nearby. They’ll need to be cleared first, and kept away.