Seeds of Evil

Episode 3: Dr. Woolsley, I Presume

While enjoying the weekly Poker Night at the Paul Revere Brewery, Judith McKnight, Dr. Zachary Wells, Stephen Potts and Fr. Jack Clowney were joined by Dash Cartessia as Dr. Edgar Blackford was still tending to Gwenyth Miller. The discussion came up about some of the strange activities in Silent Waters and how the string of brutal murders in the past six months, combined with the escape of “Greggory Kildaire” were making the town a chilling place to live rather than the welcoming and exciting place that it once was.

As the conversation moved to other areas, Judith mentioned that she was going to do some more work on the house and even wanted to explore the forest behind the Markhardt Estate. It was at that point that Dr. Wells agreed to accompany her as he was curious about the forest as well.

The following day, Sheriff Craye came by Dr. Wells’ office and with his usual disdain for Dr. Wells, it was clear he was on an assignment that he did not approve of. He pointedly stated to Dr. Wells that Mayor Hornsby wished to see him, immediately. Sheriff Craye was silent as he drove him over to city hall. Upon meeting with the Mayor, Dr. Wells was informed that when the police department sent the faxed and emailed the files to Dr. Smith, the town’s medical examiner who was still on vacation, the mere sight of the work and the mess involved caused Dr. Smith to put in for early retirement, effective immediately. This left the town without a medical examiner and the Mayor was now offering this task to Dr. Wells who had been filling in while Dr. Smith was on vacation.

Later, Dr. Wells went to the Markhardt Estate where he joined up with Judith and the two of them, along with Judith’s dog, Wit, ventured into the forest to investigate some of the clues they were hoping to find. After an hour of searching, they came across something very curious. A strange rock formation, buried under weeds, leaves and overgrown roots as well as a Ritual Dagger. As the two began to examine the stone, they realized it was huge, some 40 feet in diameter and by the looks of things, it had not been disturbed in what may have been decades. At this point, they had the idea to call the historian they knew, Dr. Samantha Woolsley. As they were so deep into the forest that their phones did not work, Judith agreed to go back to the house, call Dr. Woolsley and return once she arrived, leaving Dr. Wells at the slab.

Upon Judith’s return to the house, she noticed the eerily familiar Flock of birds gathering on top of her home. The flock was silent and merely stared at her as she approached. She was unable to function for a few moments as the potent was an eerie glimpse into the horror that had been stalking her. However, she was able to pull herself together, call Dr. Woolsley and make it to her car where she sat, silently waiting.

Meanwhile, Dr. Wells, back at the stone area in the forest, continued to scrape away the dirt and leaves that were covering the rock. That is when a spectral hand came out from underneath the dirt and debris to grab him. A figure emerged, ghostly and pale, muttering some strange language he could not understand. The entity was in old garb, such as clothing and style from the 1800’s. As the entity came for him, he fired his weapon but the bullets seemed to pass right through it. Dr. Wells was able to film a small part of this encounter on his phone but as he lunged towards the creature, it disappeared but not before the entity seemed to make a reference to Peller Lake outside of Silent Waters.

When Dr. Woolsley arrived at the Markhardt Estate, Judith had finally gotten over her terror as the flock of birds had just flew away. She was able to compose herself and greet Dr. Woolsley. However, Wit, normally well behaved, seemed to growl at the history professor, which was rather unusual. They ventured into the woods to show Dr. Woolsley the strange formation. When they arrived, Dr. Wells was leaning against a tree, breathing hard, still unsure of what he had seen. He immediately explained the spectral encounter he had, Dr. Woolsley acted suspicious but when he showed the video from his phone, which did not show the figure but showed the leaves and earth being disturbed, Dr. Woolsley seemed slightly more convinced. But Judith was certain that she believed what Dr. Wells was talking about.

Upon examining the strange formation, Dr. Woolsley commented that the formation seemed to have some kind of strange Latin and Germanic runes that she was somewhat familiar with. She spoke about old fraternal organizations that were common in Europe, most of which were professionally oriented trade groups with the trappings of the occult or unusual. This set of runes seemed to be the work of a somewhat famous, and sinister group called the Tannhauser Bruderschaft which had popularity and notoriety in Germany in the 1700’s and 1800’s. But she would have to examine more later in the library.

But there was something that both Dr. Wells and Judith thought was unusual with Dr. Woolsley’s approach. They felt as if there was something she was holding back. When Dr. Woolsley stopped to examine some other clues in the dirt, Judith took a look at her phone and it was clear she was texting someone about what she had discovered. When directly confronted, Dr. Woolsley looked around and suggested she would tell them more but not until they got back to the Markhardt Estate. It was getting dark and Wit was still giving Dr. Woolsley the darkest of looks.

Upon returning to the Markhardt Estate, Dr. Woolsley revealed that she was a member of a small group of like minded researchers in the greater New England area that were investigating increasingly possible paranormal activity. Due to some experiences each individual had (but none that Dr. Woolsley would specifically allude to), she explained that there seemed to be more and more events as of yet unexplained by science and many of these activities were classified as ‘dangerous.’ Whereas Dr. Woolsley did not wish to reveal any other members, for the time being, she stated that the strange ritualistic stone in the forest could well be related to the kinds of things the group investigated. Of course, the connection was made, however, thin, that the references to the Tannhauser Bruderschaft as well as the Germanic sounding name, ‘Markhardt’ may well be worth more investigation. Dr. Woolsley stated that she would investigate the libraries at Plymouth College as well as some in the Arkham area, and would check back with Judith and Dr. Wells later when she was finished. She also provided both of them with a special number to reach her night or day that she would answer if it rang.

The following day, Judith spent most of her time in the library, researching old records, especially anything that could be related to the strange stone slab in the forest or the Markhardt Estate. Very little seemed to exist on who the Markhardts were, other than that they moved away a century ago. However, one thing that she noticed, in examining old records from the town was that there was once a prominent family in town called the Modiak Family. This struck out to her as this was the name of her maternal grandmother’s family. A quick call to her mother revealed that ‘Grandma Modiak’ was from somewhere in New England but her mother was not sure. It could not be a coincidence that such an unusual name was not related, was it?

Meanwhile, Dr. Wells was reviewing some of the reports from the material from the Snuff Film murders they were investigating. He managed to get a break in the case when the stucco on the walls in the background of the tape matched a very specific kind of material that was only used in one construction project in Silent Waters in the past few years. It was special ordered for a project by one Anatoly Gradizh during a recent remodeling of his home. Armed with this knowledge he informed Sheriff Craye who immediately had a search warrant issued. Despite the earlier thoughts of Gradizh may or may not having been involved, it was clear he was. This was the clue they needed!

Shortly after the warrant was executed, Dr. Wells got a phone call from Deputy Tim Coye who stated that Wells was needed at the Gradizh Mansion immediately.

Something dark was discovered.

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