The Armitage Files

Stranger Together (part 1)

Session 7

Wednesday 19th October, 1938

The two intruders – the O’Reilly brothers – claim to be friends and business associates of Quinn, but the investigators aren’t fooled. Joseph fobs them off, takes their number and promises to get Quinn to contact them if and when he resurfaces. One of the brothers wants to push the issue, but the other one pulls him back and they leave – just as Quinn, fresh from a week recovering on a boat, comes looking for Amelia.

He trails the brothers to the other side of town, where they park at the Arkham Glassworks, then doubles back to the library. Amelia and Joseph introduce him to Erin and Morgan. They tell him a little about the documents and their plans, but he finds it difficult to believe; he also doesn’t mention his own connection to the Kingsport Yacht Club. Feeling that his presence is important, they decide to show him the original letters.

The next day they all travel to Orme Library, where Dr Llanfer brings out the original documents from the safe – not far from a locked cage that Joseph realises contains the Library’s collection of blasphemous tomes. Quinn reads the documents, including the one that mentions his death in a factory – and while he doesn’t accept the idea that these are messages from the future, he agrees that they need investigating. He tells them that he trailed the O’Reillys to the Glassworks and they all choose to go check it out.
The Arkham Glassworks is a battered, chemical-scarred factory in Rivertown; weary workers on their lunch break mill around as the investigators arrive. Quinn and Morgan spot a recruiting booth for a trade union in the lunch yard, where a small knot of workers glare at them as they enter the front office. The office is manned by Will Moran, a young factory hand who was mentioned by name in the third document. Joseph distracts Moran while Erin and Morgan look into the recruiting booth and Quinn and Amelia search for clues. Joseph realises that Moran is bored and a little ambitious, and cultivates him as a source of information with the possibility of work in the book trade.

Erin and Morgan chat to the union representative, an old, weathered man who has little good to say about the managers and owners of the Glassworks. The union he represents is the East Massachusetts Organisation of Dockhands and other workers, or EOD, and their banner flies a symbol – three interlocking crescents – that Morgan finds vaguely familiar and unsettling.

Meanwhile, Quinn breaks into a small, disused warehouse in the factory lot, which contains various supplies and a small heap of broken glass – glass that glows faintly in the near-dark. Amelia explains that it’s uranium glass, moderately common at this time. Quinn finds a larger chunk of it near the wall, shining with a slightly different hue and covered in a thin layer of grease or slime. Amelia also finds something – a large patch of human skin, bearing part of a three-crescent tattoo, stuck between floorboards like a piece of torn cloth.

The investigators retire to Joseph’s shop to discuss their findings. Joseph and Morgan puzzle over the glass and realise that it’s creating the slime, which oozes slowly from its surface like sweat – and which causes Morgan’s fingers to become puffy and numb even through gloves! Amelia contemplates the partial tattoo and makes a connection to the name of the union – the EOD might also be the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a fringe sect/order that had some popularity in the region a decade ago.

Joseph digs through his library and turns up a book on tattoos that has a faded picture from the turn of the century – a sailor, full EOD tattoo on his back, working on a sloop that (according to the caption) was bound for the port of Innsmouth. Looking at the photo, Morgan feels another discomforting moment of recognition – and also realises that the young sailor is the now-elderly union recruiter from the factory.

And in the street outside, two men with dull, greyish complexions, the skin of their limbs and hands completely covered, watch the bookstore…


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