The Whitewood Horror

Part 5: Flames

Wednesday, February 20, 1935
The group which has returned from finding Roderick (the two Valiants, Dr. Schreber, and the Scottish Manservant, plus Roderick) wonder what has happened to the other half of the party. When they're in the room with the trap door, there's a sort of scratching sound from under the rug. When the rug is moved, there's a note being pushed up from underneath.

The note is from Sheila, who says that Gerti and Charlie have been captured, but aren't in immediate danger. The witches will be coming for everyone else soon - Sheila suggests that they let themselves be captured so that they don't get hurt. Eddie declares this to be a terrible plan.

(Some short time before this, Sheila manages to wake Gerti up, and tell her the aforementioned plan. Gerti also is unclear that this is a great idea, but Sheila runs off to pass her note. Gerti attempts to unhook herself from the hook where she's tied, and does so, but falls on her head and knocks herself back out again.)

Back upstairs, our heroes decide to go and grab more guns from the car - when they open the door to the hallway, they are confronted by six witches, including Professor Driscoll. A fight ensues (luckily, the Valiants have brought guns to their knife fight, so start shooting knives out of hands when shooting witches fails to work). Roderick manages to jump out the window, where more witches grab him (though he does scare the young socialite with some Greek incantations first). One by one, the party is grabbed and put to sleep, some after being wounded by the witches' knives.

Everyone is dragged downstairs to the storage room (Roderick, who is only pretending to be asleep, spots Lottie's body hanging on a hook in an alcove). The witches finally notice that Roderick is still awake, kick everyone a couple of times to see if anyone else is faking, and put him to sleep.

Sheila comes and wakes up Dr. Schreber, who then wakes everyone else. Everyone gets untied. Charlie, listening at the door to the storage room, hears some arguing as to whether or not to kill everyone, and more bitter recriminations directed towards Isaac, who wasn't supposed to have gone after Gerti and Charlie. In the end, it sounds like the plan is converging slowly towards "Keep the woman, and the little German guy - he might be a virgin - and kill everyone else" when everyone finally flees into the main portion of the basement. Searching the basement doesn't turn up anything more interesting than Lottie's room and a laundry room.

"I am more interested in getting information than in burning the inn down. Burning the inn is merely petulant." -Gerti
Eddie manages to unlock the door at the top of the stairs (after a brief flirtation with jamming it). Tommy starts puncturing gas tanks outside, and flinging gas all about the inn, while Eddie searches the attic and Charlie kicks in doors to guest rooms, while the Scottish Manservant lurks by the cars with his bagpipes, and Sheila and Dr. Schreber listen at the basement stairwell with whistles, all ready to alert people to any witches. Neither the attic nor the guest rooms has anything terribly interesting, but a search of Mrs. Newless's rooms does turn up several long-ago letters from Ezekiel Apcott, complaining that Elizabeth won't let him join her club.

The inn is set on fire, and the group piles into their cars. The cars don't start. And the witches' cars have all had their gas tanks punctured. Oops.

Next plan - to the church! The witches appear to be coming out of the secret temple into the cemetery at this point. Some holy water is gathered from the font, and a cross is taken off the wall (there's also a Really Big cross over the altar). Reverend Daniel is alternately convinced that things are doomed and willing to help - he is convinced to make a bit more holy water.

Witches start surrounding the church on all sides. Eddie peeks out through the side windows to see what they're doing, and is promptly shot with his own gun. Dr. Schreber and Sheila manage to keep him from dying instantly, but it's a close thing. Tommy pegs Mrs. Newless through the front with a crossbow bolt (iron-tipped rowan, I think), but she is not impressed. Throwing holy water at a witch does cause some pain, if not permanent damage, though.

Reverend Daniel gives everyone communion, and gives Eddie last rites. The witches appear to be draining gasoline from all of the other cars in town, and splashing it on the back wall of the church (the one with one very high window). A pew-stacking experiment to try and reach the window proves not very helpful, and the Scottish Manservant falls off of it after trying to shoot one of the witches with the shotgun.

Gerti declares that someone has to get out of the church, and back to the Evil Temple, to destroy it and destroy the witches' power. Upon nobody else volunteering, she declares that she'll do it. This prompts Charlie to say no, he'll do it. A brief argument over who runs faster later, it's Gerti. More holy water is flung at the guy on one side of the church who has the gun, he falls over, dropping the gun, and Gerti makes a run for it.

One witch takes off after Gerti, but she loses him around a building, and then heads for the graveyard entrance. However, the actual entrance itself is far from obvious; she ends up shutting her eyes and asking God to guide her, and either God or her Nose for Trouble drops her down the ladder shaft. As she picks herself up in the tunnel and heads towards the temple, she hears a "hmm" from up the ladder.

She runs to the underground temple, and hides under the blood-stained table. Professor Driscoll comes in from the graveyard tunnel, looks around, and continues on towards the passage to the inn basement. Gerti starts messing up the Evil Ritual Implements, putting out candles, splashing holy water on things, and manages to bash open the big wooden chest in the corner, discovering a bunch of robes and sacrificial daggers. She sets the robes and various paintings on the walls on fire.

Professor Driscoll comes back into the temple area (the inn is on fire, remember, so he can't get very far), and heads to grab Gerti. She flees towards the ladder, he's gaining enough that she won't be able to get up before he's on her. She turns, and whacks him with her Bible. He looks briefly nervous, but it has no effect. He grabs for her, but misses. She stabs him with the cross from her necklace - his arm where she hits him starts to smolder. He runs, and Gerti chases him. He gets to the chest, and grabs a knife. Gerti runs, and he chases her. She manages to poke him in the face with the cross, and then get up the ladder and head back to the church...

Meanwhile, Charlie is beginning to fret. "Doc. Give me some drugs, I'm going out. Dr. Schreber looks around and takes stock of the fact that Gerti's not there. "Okay." More holy water is thrown, this time at Mrs. Newless. Charlie grabs her and drags her into the church - another witch picks up her gun and shoots Charlie. This is Tommy's gun, of course, so it hits him in the one leg that Tommy hasn't previously hit. Charlie is invincible, though, so doesn't much notice. Father Daniel starts a baptism, which doesn't seem to be destroying her, until Charlie pulls the Great Big Cross off the wall and drops it on her. She promptly bursts into flames, to the sound of much cheering.

The witches start fading into the woods outside, rather than also get hit with the Great Big Cross.

Charlie manages to get the party's two cars running, with the gas tanks in upside down and patched with oilcloth, and running on gas and kerosene. The party begins to limp out of Whitewood, heading for the Greenfield Memorial hospital, when Charlie and Sheila both note that one of the cars is about to explode. Everyone bails out just in time. Between that car and the car of the guy who owns the gas station, everyone is eventually transported to the hospital. Dr. Schreber notes Sheila gesturing mysteriously over Eddie before they start the drive, and after they get to the hospital - this may or may not have anything to do with Eddie's particularly stable condition for the drive.

In the aftermath:
People get patched up (though the doctors now list Charlie as a drug addict). The sheriff comes and takes a report - this does not make his day. He and some deputies go to Whitewood, and discover that Reverend Daniel has been murdered and Pat Russell is missing. Drat. Breaking into Professor Driscoll's house in Arkham turns up a Satanist shrine, but no Professor Driscoll.

The rest of the witches are never located.

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