February 12, 1850

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Duncan Blood.

This is perhaps the earliest known photograph of Duncan Blood, taken on February 12, 1850, after successfully enlisting in the New York Infantry.

Duncan Blood is a fighting man. Not only does he enjoy the martial aspects of life, but he excels in them.

He has fought in nearly every war that America has fought, both as a nation and as a colony of the British. Duncan killed his share of Huron’s in the wilds of Canada during the French and Indian War, and he waded through pools of blood at Gettysburg. In Europe, Duncan fought the Germans in both world wars, and it is rumored he may have traveled to Korea and Vietnam to fight in those countries as well.

All the bitter, brutal skills he brings to combat against his fellow men, however, were honed on the beasts and creatures that have attacked Cross.

He is as deft with a blade as he is with a gun, and there is a rumor, among the older folk, that he has done terrible things with hatchets as well.

When Duncan joined the New York Infantry in 1850, it was to seek vengeance on a Wendigo that had ravaged part of the Massachusetts volunteers who had fought in the War of 1812. He had tracked it to NY, and with the infantry unit to mask his scent, he moved into the deep parts of that state.

Near Lake George, Duncan slipped away from his unit (later claiming to have gotten lost during a storm) and found the Wendigo’s cave. The battle lasted for three days, and when it ended, Duncan Blood burned the corpse and stitched up his own wounds. Duncan served for another four years with the New York Infantry, before returning home.

He bears the scars of the Wendigo’s teeth upon his stomach still.

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February 11, 1925

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Cross breeds survivors.

There is no other way to put it.

Dark and fell creatures emerge, trying the intellect and strength of the townsfolk. Some people survive the experience; others do not.

Ian Dylan survived.

Born in 1880, Ian left his home in Cross at the age of 15 and traveled the world. Eventually, he returned to Cross, working as a cook.

On the rare occasion when out-of-towners arrived to hunt some tract of land or hike the wilderness, Ian Dylan would be called upon to cook their food for them. He was a master of creating dishes from what seemed to be nothing more than wild herbs and whatever was brought into the camp.

On February 11, 1925, Ian was with members of the Wheeler family at their basecamp near the edge of Gods’ Hollow. The elder sons and fathers had gone off to hunt for dinner, leaving the younger boys with Ian. Ian had cooked for the Wheelers in the past, so they were familiar with him, and they trusted him.

An act for which the boys’ mothers were eternally grateful.

At five in the evening, when the hunters had yet to return, Ian gathered the younger boys – ten in all – to him, and he spoke of his life to keep them entertained.

It wasn’t until seven that the first of the fathers returned, and he came back dead.

The man’s throat was slashed, and his lips were a bright red, and when he saw the boys, he charged straight toward them.

Ian removed the father’s head with a cleaver, and before the body hit the forest floor, the rest of the hunting party arrived.

For nearly an hour, Ian fought the undead members of the Wheeler family, beating them back and removing heads whenever possible. By dawn, only he and the boys remained.

The fathers and elder sons, all of them, were dead.

Ian Dylan’s body is buried in the private graveyard of the Wheeler family, and it bears a single inscription.

Protector.

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February 10, Of Every Year

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It is the little place of waiting.

Less than one hundred feet down Duncan Blood’s driveway, on the left-hand side, the building stands. It is small and unobtrusive, easy to miss if you’re in a hurry to meet up with Duncan for a bit of his homemade peach brandy, or even stronger apple schnapps.

But the building is there, and there are a few in Cross who know of it.

The little place of waiting has existed since the early 1800s, although there is no exact documentation as to when the building was constructed. Duncan knows, of course, but like with so many other subjects, he refuses to speak of it.

Those who need to wait, wait. Those who do not, well, they do not.

Waiting, as the song says, is the hardest part, and those who sit in the little place of waiting know this better than anyone else.

They wait for the missing to return.

And sometimes, in Cross, they do.

The first such person to reappear in Cross after vanishing was Raelynn Crowell, who – at age 8 – disappeared from her front yard in 1846.

Three years later, without having aged a day and wearing the same clothes in which she had gone missing, Raelynn knocked on Duncan’s door on February 10th, 1849. Her only memory was of opening her front door and stepping out onto Duncan’s property.

Five years after, a second lost individual reappeared, and two years after that, a third. There is no rhyme or reason as to who returns, or how long they have been gone.

The only constants are the date, February 10, and those waiting for the return of their missing.

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February 9, 1915

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Who knows true hunger?

Often, we hear people complain that there is nothing to eat when what they really mean is that there is nothing they want to eat.

Young Angelica Spellman discovered the difference.

Pictured here, to the right of her cousin Michael, and between her cousin Elizabeth and aunt Marianne, Angelica was a humanitarian.

On January 5th of 1915, a rare and freakish snowstorm descended upon Cross. Within a matter of 20 hours, two feet of snow was deposited upon the town. Angelica and her family took decisive action, volunteering to deliver food to people they knew to be trapped in their homes.

With the sun shining brightly, and not a cloud in sight, they set off for the farthest houses first. Before the noon, however, the sky darkened, and another storm swept over the town. For 37 hours the storm raged, and there was no sign of Angelica or her kin.

Teams went out searching for them, exploring all the routes which they could have taken to the distant houses, yet there was no sign of them.

It was with regret that the townsfolk called off the search.

On February 9th, smoke was seen rising from a small copse of trees in Gods’ Hollow and Duncan Blood went out to see what the cause of it was.

He found Angelica Spellman and the remains of Michael, Elizabeth, and Marianne. Angelica was thin, hardly more than skin and bones. She was wrapped in the clothes of her kinfolk, the bones of which were broken and scattered about the small shelter they had found in a shallow valley.

Angelica explained how it never stopped snowing in Gods’ Hollow. There was no sun, no moon. Nothing except snow and darkness. The food ran out swiftly, and Marianne was the first to die. Elizabeth was the next, and then Michael.

When asked how she had survived for so long, Elizabeth smiled and replied, “I saved a bit of each of them for later.”

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February 8, 1936

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The tower stank of death and fire.

At the edge of Gods’ Hollow, where it dipped down into a slight, curving embrace with the cusp of Duncan Blood’s land, they found the tower.

It was older than any structure still existing in Cross, and the three young women who found it on February 5, 1936, knew there was something wrong with it.

Several days later, on February 8, one of the young women – Annabelle Berkley – and her father, Malcolm, returned to the tower.

Malcolm noticed the smell, and Annabelle stated that her father’s face, “Went as white as a ghost, which I always thought was a rather mellow dramatic thing to say.”

But his face did pale, and with good reason.

Malcolm was a veteran of the Great War, and he had smelled his share of death. He knew what a rotting corpse smelled like, and he was too familiar with the stench of bodies unearthed from shallow graves.

Together, they drew closer to the tower, the odor of fire quickly adding its powerful scent to that of the unseen corpses.

At the entrance to the tower, Malcolm hesitated long enough to tell his daughter to wait outside for him.

Through the years people had gone missing near Gods’ Hollow, and he did not wish for his daughter to set eyes on anything unpleasant.

“I waited for him,” Annabelle later told her family. “I waited a long time. I called to him, yelled for him, and finally, when I had gathered up my courage and prepared myself to go after him, he returned.”

Malcolm stumbled out of the entrance, his face bloody and his eyes wild.

“Run,” he whispered, and then he smashed his head open against the wall.

Visits to the tower are discouraged.

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February 7, 1941

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The blast shook the buildings and rattled glass across campus.

It occurred on February 7, 1941, but what the cause of the explosion was, or who was responsible for it, didn’t matter to the emergency crew that arrived several minutes later.

Their focus was on removing the danger posed to the student body was.

All across the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University, dozens of students were celebrating the start of the semester and the subsequent freedom from parental supervision.

The blast, however, dragged them all back to the painful realities of life.

When the student body was on its way to freedom, the emergency crew sought out the source of the explosion.

What they found was a gigantic, headless corpse of what one of the more verbose rescuers described as, “A damned dragon.”

Lying on its side, the corpse was surrounded by a foul white ichor that was so offensive and nauseating, that the rescuers were forced to don protective gear, including the use of respirators to stop the noxious fumes from sickening them.

As the team watched, the corpse broke apart, with huge chunks of pale meat falling to the ground.

Working without pause for 26 hours, the team managed to clear away the remnants of the body in addition to scrubbing the street clean.

A later headcount of students known to have arrived at school revealed that one student, Abraham Kiln, was missing.

Abraham was known as a practical joker, and in his room, authorities found a book open a page describing, in rough, Vogel Latin, how to transform into a ‘bird of destruction.’

Unbeknownst to Abraham, the book was far more literal than he could have imagined.

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February 6, 1968

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She wanders the halls alone.

The Student, as she is known, has been a part of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University’s library since 1959 and the acquisition of a large number of books from one of the preeminent collectors in town, Madame Virginia Lauzon. It was only on the passing of this esteemed bibliophile that the books, estimated to number nearly 10,000, were acquired. This being the case, there was no way to know the provenance of each volume.

The Student was first spotted by a librarian on February 6, 1968 in the upper-stacks, close to the bibliographies, the majority of which came from Madame Lauzon. Given the Student’s garb, it is believed that she died sometime during the early portion of the 1950s.

Over the decades since the first sighting, numerous other students, staff, and employees have reported encountering her. The Student is shy, showing no wounds or giving any hint as to how she passed or when, exactly, that might have occurred.

What is more, when mediums have attempted to speak with her, she has pointedly ignored her.

The various librarians have reported seeing her with different books, and they find previous books she read placed on the desk, ready to be re-shelved.

While the Student is not averse to company, she is not fond of photographs. The few images that exist have been taken from outside the building, and they always show the Student reading, which seems to be her sole desire.

There is only one recorded incident of the Student being aggressive, and that was on the anniversary of her appearance at the college.

A well-known medium, James Avril, attempted to force her to speak.

The Student put the gentleman in the hospital, where he remained in traction for seven months.

If you are interested – and polite – the Student can still be seen in the University’s library.

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February 5, 1923

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Cross is known for its peculiarities, for how uncommon events occur with a disturbing regularity.

On February 5, 1923, Martin Clayton, his brother Melvin, and their sister Emily, all departed their parents’ home a little past six in the morning. They were preparing to travel into Boston for the day, and it was believed that the winter clouds would hold off until evening before releasing their burden of snow.

The last anyone saw of the Claytons, they were traveling northeast in the general direction of Gods’ Hollow. Their itinerary was to travel as quickly as possible, thus taking a road none of them would normally have traveled upon.

This last sighting took place at 6:06 AM.

At exactly 8:11 AM, there was a horrific crash in the basement of the Tully Shoe Factory on High Street.

The workers went racing into the depths of the building to see what had caused such a horrific sound, and what they found was nothing any of them could have suspected.

The Clayton family’s automobile was in one of the pits, the floor of which was wet with blood. The fumes of the car’s engine filled the air, and the blood steamed in the cool air of the basement.

As the workers scrambled down into the pit to see who was in the vehicle, and to see if any were alive, were distressed to discover only the massive quantities of blood. The dark fluid was not only on the floor of the pit, but on the seats and sprayed across the interior of the car.

Identification linking the Claytons to the vehicle was soon found, and it was learned that the siblings were missing.

A rapid search of the route they traveled revealed a place where the car had gone off the road. The clothes worn by the siblings for the trip were on the snow covered ground. Each item of clothing was neatly folded, as if waiting for the owner’s return.

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February 4, 1922

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Death cost them their truest friend.

The dog was a mixed breed, and of no parentage, anyone could identify. Some say she looked as though she was mostly American Terrier, others that she had a more refined snout, reminiscent of a German Shepherd.

The children of Cross didn’t care about where she came from, how she had gotten to Cross, or what various breeds contributed to her makeup.

They were far more concerned with the devotion she showed them.

The children named her Genevieve, although none knew why they had done so.

Wherever a child walked alone, or even together in pairs, Genevieve could be found with them. Her nose would sweep along the road as if hunting for some particular scent. She would come and go with a randomness that drove most adults mad, but the children were perfectly happy with whatever time she spent with them.

Shortly after her arrival in December of 1921, a child from Worcester vanished from the Cross train station. He was young, only 6, and he had stepped off the platform for a moment. His body was found two miles down the track, mangled. It was described as a tragic accident, the boy seeming to have been caught beneath the wheels of a departing train.

In January of 1922, a second boy vanished from the station, this one aged 8, and like the first, he was a visitor from out of town.

On February 3, 1922, a horrific cry went up near the train station. When the station master and several others reached the source of the sound, they found a boy of 4, sobbing hysterically. A strange and unknown beast, with fur the color of gravel, lay on its side, dead. The beast’s fur was matted down with Genevieve’s blood, for the dog had died protecting the boy.

February 4th, 1922, Genevieve’s body was laid to rest in what is now known as Genevieve’s Field.

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February 3, 1898

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Dark creatures crept from the woodlands, and the unwise went to witness their arrival.

On the morning of February 2nd, 1898, witnesses reported seeing strange trees on the edge of Gods’ Hollow, where the tree-line intersected with the low fields.

The following morning, shortly after sunrise, those same trees were said to be in different positions, and further from where they had stood the previous day.

Curious as to what might be occurring, a half dozen of Cross’ more intrepid – if foolish – citizens went to Gods’ Hollow to see what the night might bring.

Kimberly Bierce, one of the six, brought with her a camera and tripod, hoping to capture on film whatever events she might witness.

With the full moon having just breached the horizon and providing enough light for her to photograph by, Kimberly managed to obtain a single photograph, and it shows four of her colleagues standing among a trio of oddly shaped trees. Where the trees had originated from was a question the group sought to answer.

Whether they ever succeeded in discovering this remains unknown.

When the amateur investigators did not return by midnight, a second group of older, wiser citizens – led by Duncan Blood and all heavily armed – traveled to Gods’ Hollow to see what, if anything, was amiss.

The camera was found atop its tripod.

No strange and curious trees could be seen, but the newly fallen snow was stained a deep crimson, and there were bits of still warm flesh littering the snow.

Large, three-toed footprints and swaths of flattened, reddish snow traveled unerringly to the tree-line, where they vanished within a hundred feet.

The remains of the amateurs were never discovered, nor have such trees as those recorded by the late Kimberly Bierce ever been seen again.

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