April 23, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 23, 1930.

I came upon them in the early morning, only an hour or so after I had crossed the border into the Hollow. The mother and child stood in the remains of their home without any sense of shock or surprise.

When they heard my approach, they turned and nodded to me. In beautiful French, the mother said, “Yes, we will have breakfast with you.”

Feeding them had been my intention, but I had not voiced it to them. I did not hide my surprise, yet neither did I comment upon it as I sat down and took out my provisions. Soon, the three of us were eating the slim repast I had prepared.

When we finished, the woman, without introducing herself, stated, “We have done this before.”

“How many times?” I asked.

She sighed, smiling bitterly. “For eight years now.”

“Always with me?” I asked.

“Always with a version of you,” the woman answered. “There are times when you know French, and others you don’t. Times when you kill us both, and times when you pass us by.”

“How did you know I wouldn’t kill you today?” I asked, handing her a slice of bread for the child.

“You knew French,” she said, smiling, and spoke no more about it.

I left the mother and child as I found them, standing in the ruins of their home, and waiting for me to arrive in the morning.

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February 25, 1951

Marion Cass’ middle name should have been ‘Kindness.’

The man was kind and generous. Hardworking and faithful.

When the First World War broke out in August of 1914, Marion traveled to Canada and joined with the Canadian Army to serve abroad. He fought until the armistice of 1918, and then he returned home. Yet when he stepped off the train from Boston, his father died of a heart attack in the station, leaving Marion the task of running the family farm and helping his mother to raise his three younger siblings.

And Marion did just that.

His farm prospered, and he shared his prosperity with his neighbors. No family went hungry, no child lacked for a job if they went to Marion.

He was, in the words of Duncan Blood, “A man I am proud to call a friend.”

On February 25th, 1951, Marion Cass learned that the six-year-old son of the Hawkins family was missing.

Marion packed himself enough food for a day’s search as well as extra for the boy, and blankets too. Then, knowing that no horse could go where the boy was believed to have gone missing, Marion climbed onto his tractor and set off into the dark woods around Gods’ Hollow.

It was Duncan Blood who found the tractor at the edge of the road, and the Hawkins boy was wrapped in Marion’s blankets and coat.

There was no sign of Marion, and Duncan did not search for him.

Later, when the Hawkins boy was reunited with his family, and Duncan sat with Marion’s family, Deborah Cass, Marion’s wife, asked Duncan why.

From his pocket, Duncan drew a folded piece of cloth which she recognized as part of Marion’s shirt. When she opened it, there was a single sentence written in blood.

“His life for mine.”

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February 13, 1913

The fog hides many sins.

What particular sin emerged from the depths of Cross on February 13, 1913, is still unknown. The damage it caused is a matter of history.

At 1:13 PM, the Boston & Maine southbound train came in for its final turn towards Cross station. It did so through a long, deep fog that enveloped the entire town. Residents and survivors recalled hearing the train’s whistle as it alerted Cross of its imminent arrival. Several seconds later, an answering whistle pierced the fog, and then the earth shook.

A hideous explosion filled the air, and sudden silence that followed was shattered by the screams and shrieks of the injured.

Three of the train’s cars were knocked off the track, scattering both the living and dead. The train’s engine was stopped on the track, the front of its tank smashed in as if a giant fist had been driven through the iron.

Neither the engineer nor the fireman could be questioned; they were both dead, necks broken by the impact. The brakeman was found a day later, his body shattered and hanging in the topmost branches of a pine tree.

Several children were never found, and while it is the belief of most that their bodies were pulverized in the wreck, there are others who would argue the point.

Around the train were deep impressions, as if some tremendous bull had stalked around it in the fog. Even some of the trees bore gouges, far higher than any bull could reach.

One or two have whispered that it was a minotaur that derailed the train and thus stole away some of the children.

Few people doubt the veracity of the latter statement, but in June of 2018, the bones of three children were discovered in a cave on the edge of Gods’ Hollow. Above the remains, a single word was carved in ancient Greek: Minos.

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February 12, 1850

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 9, 1915

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

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

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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