The second part of “Alone Against the Dark” begins more or less where the last one left off. As noted previously, spoilers abound for this scenario! If you read this and find it difficult to enjoy playing the scenario later, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself…
Holt is a former US Navy officer who made quite a fortune as an industrialist and financier. Even as the Great Depression takes hold, he retains significant resources. He speaks a bit of German, knows a decent amount about business, but primarily is skilled in getting other people to do what he wants. As previously noted, each character has a budget of an additional 150 points to add to skills as the player sees fit. For my playthrough, I chose to add 30 points to each of the following:
Holt’s notes are all addressed to Lydia Lau, a reporter at The New York Sun.
As discussed on the telephone earlier, I will depart tomorrow for Athens. Grunewald has not communicated for several days and I fear something terrible must have happened.
It has been some time since I visited Europe. Unlike recent vacations, however, I go to the aid of a friend. Neither tinpot republics nor shadowy cults will stop me from coming to the aid of a friend. I will remain in contact with you, per our agreement, so that when the time comes to publish in the future, you will have the inside scoop. I have sent a courier with a copy of Grunewald’s notes to you already so that you may have the needed context.
I wonder if this is the same ship Grunewald took. Unlikely, as I believe it sailed to Cairo before returning, so it must be arriving in a few days. In any case, unlike my dottering old friend, I intend to enjoy my time on the ship beginning tomorrow. This old sailor knows how to enjoy himself on the open sea!
Perhaps the same pair of men watched me as those who watched Grunewald, or perhaps others associated with them. Or it may be that I am seeing shadows where there are none. Regardless, I stared back at them and they continued on.
The action has begun! A diminutive little Arab came at me with a knife! Fortunately, forewarned is forearmed, quite literally. My .45 revolver showed him what’s what, though, and he fled. This Cult of Aten had best steer clear of Ernest Holt!
My apologies for not writing a missive but I enjoyed a good night at the casino, both at the baccarat tables and with some additional winnings later. But a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell…
While skeet shooting from the fantail of the ship, I’m quite sure someone else took a pop at me. Happily they missed. Perhaps my skill with the shotgun gave them pause.
Tonight, as with each night I’ve been aboard, I went for cocktails in the ship’s lounge. Unlike most other nights (other than Thursday), I had a brief companion. Some fellow even older than me gave me a quiet warning about being followed by assassins. God, I’ve already found that out the hard way. We arrive in Athens on Monday; I will continue to keep my wits about me.
These damned Greeks, speaking no English. Didn’t they learn anything in the War? Regardless, the Hall of Justice had effectively nothing useful for me. Tomorrow I will head to the National Museum of Archaeology and see Pisistratos.
An old taxi driver seemed to know what I’m here for and told me he’d have friends meet me at the Parthenon tonight. We’ll see how that goes.
At the Museum, the damned secretary refused to let me see the director or even listen to who I am. The nerve! Regardless, with a bit of nerve and a fire in my belly, I was able to track him down within the museum itself. He claimed not to know why Gliere stole the clock, or whatever the thing is, and that it’s normal to lend out these sorts of artifacts. (Grunewald seemed to think otherwise and Pisistratos definitely seemed to be lying.)
I met an Englishman later who claimed to have information on Gliere’s crimes. He agreed to meet me at the Parthenon tonight. I wonder if he’s a friend of that taxi driver.
The Parthenon held more than historical interest. Someone - or something, rather - came after me. Lydia, I know how this will sound, but you must believe me: my assailants were some sort of dead-yet-alive… things. I pulled away from them and got away from the ruins.
Another man who saw what happened told me that those same creatures killed Grunewald. Horrible vermin! But this old man brought peace to my heart and soul. Not only do I finally have an answer about Grunewald, I am bound and determined to destroy this Karpathos Device. Perhaps it will bring about the end of the world, or perhaps it’s just a bunch of stories. Regardless, if this set of gears and dials has anything to do with the fearsome things I faced last night, it must be destroyed.
He gave me a ring with some sort of sigil on it, a five-pointed star with a flame at the center, and claimed it has power “against dead things brought back to existence”. I believe at the core of my being that that is what those things were.
I’m about to board a train for Cairo at noon. May God watch over me.
Were it not for all the previous events, perhaps even I wouldn’t believe what happened on the train. On the first night, two asps made their way into my private car. One bit me, but this tough old blood was too hardened. I want to believe this is just a natural event here in the East. Lydia, at this point, we both know that’s not true. Someone desperately wants to ensure that I do not reach Cairo.
Yet, here I am. I will head directly to the Cairo Museum and see this device for myself.
It is the small hours of the morning, and I have done it. The Device will not be found again. I waited until the night, then broke the glass around it and fled. But those same undead creatures as from the Parthenon infested the place! I escaped with only minor scratches and terror in my heart.
The police arrived just as I got outside, but I convinced them I was just another tourist who fled when alarms sounded. They didn’t notice the bulk in my pack.
Whatever devilish wizardry built that accursed artifact was strong, strong enough that no stone could break it. Yet I have ensured that it will not fall into the hands of men for many lifetimes, if ever again. The Cult of Aten will not have its prize.
I can see police lights coming down the street. Perhaps these will be the last words I write as a free man. Did I do the right thing? Only Grunewald and Gliere know.
I didn’t expect to “win” the scenario on my second investigator! The book has a little table for “Levels of Victory” and specifies that a perfect score is 0, having “saved the world without losing a single investigator on the way”. My score is therefore 1, “Excellent success”.
At some point, I’ll replay this thing. There’s a lot more content in the rest of the world that I didn’t see. But for now, I’m pleased.