Sept. 1, 2022

Part 25: The Cracks (2)

The gate creaks open. Mysterious piano plays.

John: As I said, this is a larger room. There’s a long table with seven high-backed chairs surrounding it. Each has deep red leather seat and back, with arms on either side. They’re quite ornate. The dark wood table isn’t set.

Arthur: Hmmm. Any scuff marks or scratches? 

John: None that I can see. 

Arthur: A table for show, more than anything. 

John: What do you mean? 

Arthur: It doesn’t… doesn’t seem like a dining table, but  maybe a meeting room.

John: Fair. There are statues on the back wall of this room, like the ones in the hall, however… these seem important. There are three of them. 

Arthur: Are there any markings, or…?

John: Yes. There are names beneath each yes. Erwin Kipling, and Neitsh Walden, and… Entie Walder. They’re dressed as soldiers, with… They look…familiar.

Arthur: How so? 

John: I don’t know. Like… I-I don’t know. 

Arthur: Alright, well, put a pin in that. What else is here? 

John: Some furnishings on the wall, a coat of arms… 

Arthur: Larson? 

John: Yes. 

Arthur: You mentioned everything was dust covered. 

John: Quite. This room hasn’t been used in a while. 

Arthur: I guess as the needs grew? 

John: I don’t know. 

Arthur: You mentioned paintings? 

John: Yes, and some books here. 

Arthur: Where? 

John: To the left. [Arthur moves] There. 

Arthur: Anything jump out?

John: A number of Latin texts. 

Arthur: Cultured. 

John: Wait, bend down for a moment. [Arthur grunts] ‘De Tribus Militibus’.

Arthur: What does that mean?

John: I’m not sure, but it seems familiar.

Arthur: Déjà vu. 

John: Yes. A-Also one of the paintings is missing. 

Arthur: How do you mean? 

John: I… it’s barely noticeable, but, there’s an outline on the wall above what a hearth — not exactly discolored but something clearly hung here. I guess it could’ve been anything. 

Arthur: Something seems off

John: In no small way. 

Arthur: N-No I mean, is this room is for the Order of the Fallen Star? Why hasn’t it been used in so long? It seems a simple meeting room, but almost not part of the estate. 

John: Why did Larson build here exactly? 

Arthur: The mine, was rich with coal, I think, and—

John: Was that why, though? 

Arthur: I don’t know! I assumed—

John: What exactly did he tell you? 

Arthur: Well he told me not very much. [Sighs] I-I don’t know, I can’t seem to make sense of this. 

John: Right. 

Arthur: Let’s just push on, back to the crossroads. 

John: Okay. 

Footsteps. The gate creaks as they pass through.

John: So.

Arthur: So.

John: I’m hesitant to ask about everything. 

Arthur: Everything? What do you mean? 

John: [Frustrated] You’ve told me next to nothing about our time apart, Arthur. 

Arthur: Such as?  

John: [Angry] How long has it been! Where are we! What the fuck is Larson, why does he look like that?

Arthur: Okay okay.

John: The ram’s horns and the dead eyes—

Arthur: No, no that was Uncle. 

John: Who the fuck is Uncle!?

Arthur: Right. Look—

John: I’ve been patient. 

Arthur: I’ve told you about Yellow, and-and why we’re here—

John: And the cult of the Fallen Star, yes. Just… [He calms down] Just tell me everything.

Arthur: Everything. 

John: Yes.  

Arthur: [Sighs] Larson, Wallace Larson, he’s-he’s hundreds of years old. He founded this town, Addison, as a mining town. He… he had children w-who died in an accident. All but one, his daughter, whom shared a name with the town. 

John: Did he explain that it was founded here for the purposes of mining? 

Arthur: I don’t know, no, it didn’t come up. What are you saying? 

John: I’m not sure, other than these passageways looking old. Very old. 

Arthur: You think he built on top of this?

John: I think there’s not enough to information to know, but… 

Arthur: Right. 

John: So why did he throw you in the mines, Arthur?

Arthur: Because I caught him on something odd. When Yellow and I heard… oh!

John: What? 

Arthur: We heard something, in the vents, beneath!

John: Such as? 

Arthur: Someone being hurt, John. By Uncle. 

John: And who is Uncle? 

Arthur: One of Laron’s grandchildren, I think or son, I’m not sure, but — I think maybe we’re not as far below the Larson estate as I thought! Those bloody prints… 

John: Yes, they’re coming up on the right. 

Arthur: They may be Uncle’s, coming back from whatever it was he did to that poor woman. 

John: And what was it that he did?

Mysterious piano music

Arthur: It sounded like a woman was trapped, she was… crying, whimpering. After I pointed out I had heard her, it sounded like Uncle entered the room, and… and killed her. 

Piano interrupted by eerie stinger

John: Jesus. And you have no idea who she was? 

Arthur: None. And I don’t know if Larson did, either. 

John: Fuck. 

Arthur: Yeah. 

John: So? Do we head towards or away from?

Arthur: The footprints? Away! They probably would lead us back to the estate, or at least a way to access it. 

John: But you said the woman sounded trapped.  

Arthur: Yes?

John: And what if there are more? 

Piano resumes

Arthur: What if there are more? 

John: Arthur. 

Arthur: John. Stopping Larson will stop this! Once we kill him anyone under his thumb—

John: You’re still convinced you need to kill him? 

Arthur: Or whatever – stop him, whenever we stop him, all of this will cease!

John: Arthur.

Arthur: Would you just listen to me? We are going to stop him and that will help these people, okay? I am—I am telling you!

John: So which way do you want to go? The way the footprints came from, or to where they’re heading? 

Arthur: Right. Right! Obviously. We’ll see what there is, and…and who knows?

John: Who knows? 

Arthur: Who knows! Maybe someone to help. Y-You know?

John: Sure. 

Arthur sighs. Main piano theme plays as they walk down the hallway.

John: The hallway continues in much the same way the other did, however it seems narrower. Tighter. More… oppressive. 

Arthur: Oppressive? 

John: You did say she sounded trapped, and that Uncle entered a room. 

Arthur: You’re saying this looks like a prison? 

John: It’s beginning to, yes. 

Arthur: Of course. The footprints? 

John: Still. 

Arthur: It mustn’t be too far. 

John: No, in fact… I see an archway ahead where it opens up. 

Arthur: Opens up? 

John: A wider room beyond. 

Arthur: Alright.

Footsteps

John: This is a wide rectangular room, with two pillars in the center. Each pillar has a torch but neither is lit. On the left wall, there are three wooden doors, each down a set of steps leading off to what I imagine could be cells. To the right there are only two doors. They’re also down a set of short steps.

Arthur: [Hushed] You don’t think any of these doors continue on? There are no exits, or…?

John: I can’t tell. I don’t think so. 

Arthur: Which one are the footprints heading from? 

John: The first door to the left. 

Arthur climbs down the steps

John: There’s a slot on the door: a sliding piece of wood at eye level that you can look through. 

Arthur: Oh, all right, all right.

Slot slides open

John: I can’t see much. Raise the torch a little bit. 

Arthur: Like this? 

John: [takes a sharp breath]  Jesus Christ. 

Arthur: Shut it? 

John: Shut it. 

Slot shuts 

Arthur: Well? 

John: Yes. She was killed. There’s a small cot on the floor and a bucket. Her… jaw was pulled off. 

Arthur: Her Jaw? Jesus… Alright, okay.

John: Yeah.

Arthur: Are you okay? 

John: Yeah. 

Arthur: Should we… check the others? 

John: Hmm.

Arthur: It’s to be a little put off, John. 

John: I know. 

Arthur: You know, you’ve mentioned a few times how I’ve grown more… callous.

John: Not callous. 

Faroe’s Waltz piano theme plays.

Arthur: Sure, sure. But you seem more… fragile? 

John: [Tersely] Do I. 

Arthur: Yes. There’s a—

John: Just open the slot. 

Arthur: Oh.

Piano fades. Slot thunks open.

John: Empty. 

Arthur: Thank God. 

Shuts. Footsteps.

Arthur: I just mean to say that you seem very… sensitive to some of the horrors we’ve already experienced, especially because we’ve experienced some of them already, in a way. It’s not our first dead body—

John: I didn’t say it was our first dead body, Arthur. I had hoped we’d seen our last, admittedly, yes. 

Arthur: Alright, alright, alright.

John: Slot. 

Slot opens 

John: Nothing.

Arthur sighs

John: The other side of the room. 

Arthur: Right.

Shuts the slot

Arthur: Anyway, chances are good that, ah, the other way leads to the estate. To Larson. 

John: Yes, I’d say so. 

Arthur: And, look, once Larson is done, then… we’re out of here, John! [Chuckles]

John: Are we? 

Arthur: Yes! Out of the mountain, out of Addison, out of the cold! We can go home, John, back to Arkham! 

John: How do you picture that? 

Arthur: W-We’ll take a car of his, hit the road — fuck the thaw, drive straight back to the coast— [He takes a deep breath and lets it out] I can feel it now: the pavement beneath my feet! The office! My own bed!

John: The slot. 

Arthur: What? 

John: The slot, open it. We’re on the other side of the room. 

Arthur: Right right, right right. You’re listening to me, though, right? We get to go home, John! A place that we have---

Male voice: Who are you talking to? 

John: Jesus! 

Arthur: Fuck! What? 

Male voice: [muffled by distance] Who are you talking to? 

Arthur:  No one! 

Male voice: But you were—

John: There’s someone in the cell! 

Arthur: Are you okay? Who—

Male voice: I’m okay. Are you okay? 

Arthur: Yes, yes, I-I-I’m okay. You’re okay?

Male voice: I’m okay. 

Arthur: How… Why are you in there? W-Would you like out? 

Male voice: Yes! Yes! Why are you… Y-You’ll let me out?

John: Of course! 

Arthur: I… Who are you? 

Male voice: M-Matthew. L-Let me out. 

John: Let him out! The latch is—

Arthur: [to John] Hold on, hold on. [to Matthew] Why are you in—

Matthew: Who are you talking to?

Arthur: No one! Why are you in there? 

Matthew: I’m trapped. A prisoner.

Arthur: [Aside, to John] Can you see in the slot? 

John: Barely! I can only see the light reflecting in the blacks of his eyes.

Matthew: You’re talking to someone. 

John: His eyes are manic, wild—

Arthur: [to Matthew] No, I’m not.

John: —darting back and forth. 

Arthur: Why are you in here?

Matthew: Let me, let me out, and I’ll… I’ll tell you.

Arthur: Tell me and I’ll let you out. 

John: Arthur, he’s a prisoner, let him out!

Arthur: No no no, not until we know who or what he is.

John: “What” he is? 

Matthew: [impatient] Talk to me!

Arthur: You’re in there for a reason; tell us what it is — tell me what it is.

John: There’s no reason to—

Arthur: What is this place? 

Matthew: This place, it’s not for you or me or him…

Arthur: Him? Larson? 

Matthew: Mhm. Mhm.

Arthur: Then what is it for? 

Matthew steps up to the slot — his voice is clearer, but whispered.

Matthew: Something else. Something old. 

Arthur: The Order of the Fallen Star? 

Matthew: [Muffled again] The Order — The Order of the Fallen — Fallen Star? No. No, the Order of the Fallen Star is in New York.

Arthur: New York? 

John: Where in New York?

Matthew: It hides in plain sight, most — most don’t even know what it is, let alone where.

Arthur: But you do. 

Matthew: Mhm.

Arthur: Why?

Matthew: Let me out! Let me out.

John: Ask him where it is. 

Arthur: [to John] What, why? 

Matthew: “What why? What why?”

Matthew pounds against the wall.

John: Ask Him! 

Arthur: Where is it? Where is it? Tell us — tell me—

Matthew: And you’ll let me out? 

John: Sure. 

Arthur: Sure.

Matthew: [Chuckles breathlessly, speaks close to the slot again] It hides in plain sight. The Order of the Fallen Star; it has a name in some circles, like the Freemasons. I-Invite — Invite only. 

John: How can we be invited? 

Matthew: Now let me out. 

Arthur: No, this place, you said, not for him, not for us. Who built this place?

Matthew: [Moans] You’re breaking a promise! 

Arthur: No, what is this place for?

Matthew: Shhhhhh. I’m not supposed to tell you yet. 

Eerie stinger

Arthur: What? Why? 

Matthew: Cause if you know, you won’t do it. 

John: Won’t do what? 

Arthur: What do you mean? 

Matthew: If you know, if I tell you toooo much, you—you won’t do it. You have to go there for yourself. 

Arthur: You’re not making any sense. 

Matthew: Now let me out!

Arthur: Tell me!

Matthew: Not yet.

Arthur: Tell me!

Matthew: He’ll kill me!

Arthur: Who? Larson? 

Matthew: [Laughs] No, no, no. 

Arthur: Who? Did Larson not put you in there? 

Matthew: Larson put me in yes, yes.

Arthur pounds on the door

Arthur: Tell me, goddamnit! [Arthur catches his breath] Tell me what this place is for. Tell me—

Matthew: Let me out, and I’ll tell you.

John: Arthur, let him out. 

Arthur: I…

John: Please. 

Arthur: Right; okay, okay. Look, you said Larson put you in here and the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so…

Matthew: Enemy? 

Main piano theme plays

Arthur: Where’s the… Where’s the damn…

Matthew: When a sinister person means to be your enemy, they always start by trying to become your friend.

Arthur: Yes, yes. And you’ll tell me? 

Matthew: Anything. Anything.

John: The Order of the Fallen Star!

Arthur: No! No, I need to know about this place. What was it built for?

John: Arthur! 

Arthur: [Sharply, to John] Quiet! [to Matthew] I’ll let you out, and you’ll tell me, okay?

Matthew: Yes. Yes, yes. 

Arthur: How does it…

John: Arthur, if you decide to—

Arthur: Where’s the fucking—

Arthur unlocks the door. It swings open. Soft footsteps, Matthew whimpering.

Arthur: There.

Matthew: Thank you. Thank you.

John: Arthur, the man is wiry and ragged. His skin is thin, nearly translucent. His teeth are black as the night. He has no hair on his head, or face.

Arthur: Yes, yes, well, well, no one deserves to be trapped in there — now tell me!

Matthew: O-okay. Okay.

Arthur: Why was this place built? 

Eerie violins play

Matthew: It was built for a purpose, a place to seek — to find something, something powerful and, ah… ancient. 

Arthur: What? Something Larson wanted?

Matthew: Larson? He’s gone, he’s already left. He’s…

Arthur: He’s…?

John: Ask him about New York! We need to know—

Matthew: No, no, not Larson, no. Some seek a power they never had, and some seek a power they once did. [Whispering] This place was to seek what they never had. The Three Soldiers were tasked with…

John: Arthur!

Arthur: [to John] Shut up! [to Matthew] The Three Soldiers w-were tasked with what? N-No, keep going!

Matthew groans

Arthur: Tell me about the Three Soldiers! What were they seeking?

Matthew: An object…

John: Arthur! His eyes are—

Matthew: An object that that is without equal…

Arthur: What is it? Spit it out!

John: His eyes are bleeding, Arthur! 

Arthur: What was it called?

Matthew: The, the, the… 

Violins crescendo

Matthew: The Blackstone. 

Arthur: The black stone? 

Ears ringing. There’s a loud, squealching POP

John: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! 

Arthur: Wh-what? 

John: A-ARTHUR! Fuck…!

Arthur vomits

John: His head, Arthur, it… it split in two! Jesus Christ… 

Arthur breathing hard, trying to regain composure.

John: He said… he said he would be killed. 

Arthur: Yes. Fucking hell…

John: I told you!

Arthur: You told me to let him out, you fucking— 

John: I told you to ask him about the Order of the Fallen Star!

Arthur: What the fuck do you care? What is wrong with you? 

John: What is wrong with me?

Arthur: Yes, you.

Arthur sits down, catches his breath.

Arthur: What the fuck is going on? 

John: I don’t know.

Arthur: What killed him? 

John: Arthur…

Arthur: I know. You don’t know. [Sighs]

Melancholy piano plays

John: We need to move. Pick yourself up. 

Arthur: I just… I don’t understand. Every time— 

John: Nothing you can do here, laying in a growing pool of this man’s blood, is going to change that. He couldn’t…

Arthur: What a waste. Fuck.

John: A waste?

Arthur: Yes, I-I mean… wh-what a way to go…maybe. I-I don’t know.

John: What the fuck are you talking about? 

Arthur: Nothing! Just… h-he would have died anyway if, if we had left him in there. And he could’ve told us through the door instead of… I don’t know.

John: A man is dead, Arthur. 

Arthur: I’m aware. I can feel his blood on my face, John, thank you. 

John: You pushed him to tell us. Don’t you feel any remorse?

Arthur: Fuck you.

Arthur climbs to his feet

John: There’s nothing for us here. 

Arthur: You’re right. 

Footsteps

Arthur: Blackstone.Who exactly was seeking it, and why?

John: The Three Soldiers, obviously. 

Arthur: The Three Soldiers. 

John: Yes. 

Arthur: The Three Soldiers. 

John: Yes, Arthur. 

Arthur: Wait wait wait—

John: The statues in the other room, the ones that—

Arthur: The Three Soldiers.

John: [Impatient] Yes!

Arthur: In the Dreamlands, in the desert… you said there were three spirits that followed us. Armor clad…

Faroe’s Lullaby plays

John: And dressed as soldiers.

Arthur: Yes! 

John: You’re right. 

Arthur: Wh-What does that mean, though? They sought us out, and gave us—

John: The coin. 

Arthur: The coin. The one I flipped! 

John: What?

Arthur: We need our stuff back. Which way is—

John: Keep going straight. It’s the only way we haven’t gone.

Footsteps

John: Arthur, I feel like we’re a piece of something much bigger. 

Arthur: Yes, yes. I feel that too, have for a long time, b-but these soldiers, they were… they were looking for this Blackstone and… and I think I’ve seen a picture of it. Well, Yellow had. 

John: Of the Blackstone?

Arthur: Yes! It was in the Estate, above. In a room, in fact —in fact it may have been the picture missing from the wall!

John: What does this have to do with Larson, though?

Arthur: I don’t know. Perhaps… it’s part of the Order of the Fallen Star? 

John: Matthew said he wasn’t part of it. 

Arthur: Who? Right right right. Whatever the case, we’ll get some answers, finally. 

John: How?

Arthur: Out of Larson.

John: Out of Larson?

Arthur: Yes. One way or another.

John: Have you considered for one second that Larson may not be so easily killed? 

Arthur: I have no qualms about.

John: He has people imprisoned beneath this mountain. I doubt you’re much of a threat. 

Arthur: I’m not worried about that.

John: You should be! 

Arthur scoffs, keeps walking

John: Arthur, Matthew’s head fucking exploded—

Arthur: We’re not coming back for those fucking people. 

John: What?

Arthur: We’re not deviating anymore. We’re leaving this place.

John: They needed help! 

Tragic piano music plays

Arthur: So do we! So did Matthew, and look how that turned out.

John: Matthew died because you asked him to tell you! You threatened him with staying in that prison! If he didn’t—

Arthur: [Viciously] He died because he was a fucking cultist, and all those people down there deserve the same fate! 

John: I…

John’s breath catches, speechless.

Arthur: Y-You don’t get it, do you? This is how we stop them. 

John: Is it. 

Arthur: Yes. And I’m not letting you drag me down any more. 

John: Drag you down? 

Arthur: Yes

John: How exactly was Yellow the monster between you two?

Arthur stops walking. 

Arthur: What? 

John: You heard me. 

Arthur: Because he was just like you: a manipulative, naive, parasite, who was too inconsequential to exist on his own.  

Arthur continues forward.

John: [Bitterly] The stone hallway comes to a set of steps that lead up. 

Arthur: Good. 

John: Arthur?

Arthur: What?

John: I’m glad I’m not like you. 

Arthur: The feeling’s mutual.

Footsteps continue up. 

 __________________________________________________

Transcribed by the amazing Croik! My absolute appreciation to them for their effort and patience in making this.