Late October, 1937 . . .
Returning to their hotel, Dr. Ju-no Sinn, Professor Marvin Derrikson and Julian Alexander had a long day of travel and investigation behind them. The last thing they were interested in was a wild party, but that is precisely what they encountered when entering the Grand American Hotel. their accommodations in Bangkok. Apparently, some kind of guest performer was on stage in the restaurant which was causing the disturbance. Just as they were ready for retiring for the evening, Julian spotted his friend Phillip Astor Winston at the lobby desk, complete with not only an entourage but with several large steamer chests.
As introductions were made, Phillip explained that he and this entourage, Davis Lockhart, Dr. Arthur Paddington and Tawny Qualls, had just come on a buying trip from Toyko and thought that they would come by way of Bangkok to see how the team was doing on their mysterious investigation, completely unaware of the danger he and his friends had stumbled upon by merely being here.
As Julian overheard Davis speaking to the hotel manager about securing two specific items, clearly paintings underneath the brown wrapping, Professor Derrikson asked what they were. Davis explained that they were a pair of paintings he had picked up that were done by a German artist named Klaus Numan, a name that was not unknown to Derrikson. This was the German artist that had painted The Gazer’s Perspective, an obscenely horrific painting that hung in the halls of Samson Trammel’s home. Numan, who, according to Lord Edward Homeward’s notes, was a lunatic living in Milwaukee and had clearly seen more horror in his dreams than most men had seen in reality. The two paintings in Davis’ possession, Doom at Mid-Day and Harbinger were wrapped and secure but promised to show the paintings to Professor Derrikson at a later time.
The group decided to celebrate over dinner. Ms. Qualls, who was clearly smitten with Phillip, seated herself next to him (and evidently, they had gotten a room together as Phillip passed her off as his wife to the hotel manager). Over dinner Professor Derrikson and Julian explained what they were doing as well as the danger that was present in Bangkok. Specifically, they discussed the strange and outlandish drug cult they were chasing down, as well as the drug, Nectar, they were following. Dr. Paddington naturally scoffed at such unusual adventures, but Phillip provided some credence to the tale as he knew his cousin, Janet Winston-Rogers, was behind this investigation as it had consumed her father. Davis seemed interested in the adventure aspect of the situation. But when references to some underground fight clubs came up, things turned darker. As Julian explained that one of the cult’s fronts was an illegal fight club, they casually discussed getting someone in as a fighter. Dr. Sinn then rested Davis’ reflexes by throwing a dagger at him which Davis seemed to catch. Dr. Sinn suggested that if they needed a fighter Davis would pass.
As dinner came to an end, David and Prof. Derrikson spoke more in earnest with Prof. Derrikson emphasizing the danger this adventure had, including worldwide implications of doom and disaster as there was some greater evil looming. Derrikson suggested, hesitantly, that Davis read Samson Trammel’s blasphemous text, Testament of the Dripping Mouths’ Emanates in order to get a true sense of what they were dealing with. He read the book and that night dreamed of mouths erupting on his body as well as strange prophetic dreams of numbers, impossible physics and alternate realities.
The following morning, Davis arrived to breakfast disheveled and bedraggled, having spent the evening reading such a horrific and spine-tingling tome but now, at least, he understood the dangers and had a better perspective of the dangers involved. It was then that Derrikson trusted Davis enough to bring him into the fold and ask Davis to accompany he and Sinn and Alexander on their investigation, which was to begin with the mysterious individual that Daniel Lowman had threatened the day before.
When the group set out to find the street thug, they encountered him back at his den of inequity where they approached and quickly learned his name was Sirpong. The investigators were somewhat confused as to Siripong’s role in the affair but eventually they discovered that Siripong, wanting in on some the fight club money had shot his mouth off around town, suggesting that he would open his own competing fight club, that Lowman had to convince him was a very bad idea, lest he bring down the wrath of the rest of the tough criminals involved in the club. He did, however, confirm the way to get to the club and that they were always looking for participants.
It was at that point that the investigators decided to confront Daniel Lowman at his home. They took the long walk back to Lowman’s neighborhood and noticed he was present and quietly reading in his living room. With Dr. Sinn and Alexander going to the back and Lockhart and Prof. Derrikson taking the direct route to the front, they silently entered through the back of the house and knocked at the front of the house.
The conversation with Lowman was long, drawn out and dodgy as Lowman changed his story and suggested, at first, he did not know the mysterious woman in his book and then admitted that he did. He admitted that ‘S.S.’ was a woman named Savatree Sirikhan. She was not only the leader of the cult but the both of them had been lovers back in Los Angeles and both knew not only Samson Trammel but also Ramon Echavarria. Lowman explained that his role was more with the Nectar trade and the fight club than it was with any cult activities (of which he seemed to be ignorant).
During the conversation with Lowman, the same thugs from before showed up demanding money and demanding to talk to Lowman. Dr. Sinn excused himself to deal with them and stated, upon his return, they would never come again. The mood was sinister and dark, as if Dr. Sinn was able to use some kind of power over them.
Upon Dr. Sinn’s return, they again pressed Lowman for what he knew. He explained that his role was to take correspondence for Sirikhan and receive it. He has gotten packages from around the world as well as sent them around the world. A few weeks ago he was approached by a man who fit the description of Luc Fauche, who mentioned the name ‘Derrikson’ and to look out for him. Lowman suspected that Fauche may have actually lived in Bangkok as he referenced places and restaurants which were off the beaten path of the city.
With Julian Alexander satisfied that they had learned everything they could from Lowman and that he woudl be a possible liability to them if he were able to report this conversation back to the cult, he rendered him unconscious and dragged him into the bathroom to conduct the ritual he had found in the Ruminations of the Outer Black. The ritual, which summoned an entity known only as the Dark Bargainer, who was pleased with the offering Julian had provided. In return, the entity offered to Julian a spell, Hands of Power.
When Julian emerged from the bathroom, without Daniel Lowman, there was a silence that fell across the room as everyone had known the darkness that Julian had entered and the dangerous forces he was bargaining with. However, with the actions that would likely come ahead, perhaps skirting the line between monster and humanity was needed. Either way, a pact between Julian and the forces of darkness had now begun.