When we last left off our adventurers, they had been jumped by Cultists of the Pharaoh of a Thousand Ravens. Jacques Tabarin Dupond had received a call from Dr. Norman Addams early in the day, but Monsieur Dupond had a prior engagement. By the time Monsieur Dupond showed up, the cultists were all unconscious in the alleyway behind the King Richard’s Flagon. Without a blink in their eyes, they hopped into car that Dr. Addams requisitioned from the University and drove off. They arrived at the house of Miles Shipley around 10 o’clock at night. The house was a two story wooden house built in the mid 1800s. It might have been a nice house once upon a time, but like the other houses of the area, it was pretty run down by the mid 1920s. Paint was peeling, concrete steps were crumbling, and wooden rails were missing. There was an old skylight on the right side of the house and light was shining through a curtained window.
Dr. Addams walked up to the front door and it was opened by a kind, old woman who they quickly realized was Miles Shipley’s mother. After Monsieur Dupond put on his French charm, Mrs. Shipley let them in the house to show them the paintings. She went to see Miles to let him know guests had arrived and to clean up. Then she showed up with some tea. Only Dr. Addams took some tea, the others politely refused. Miles Shipley came out. He was jittery and sweated a lot. Obviously hadn’t slept in awhile, but once it was mentioned that they were interested in his paintings, he was able to control himself. They were shown into the Garret, a large room with an easel in the center of the room with a half finished picture that interested Oliver Arterbury greatly. It showed a snake slithering into the jungle, but the snake was moving with nothing painted yet behind it. There were 10 finished paintings hanging on the walls. Most were of just horrific creatures and images, but Mr. Arterbury noticed that they all had one thing in common. There was a serpentine image in everyone. One painting in particular of Africa interested Dr. Addams. It was a mountain in Eastern Africa with african people praying to a god hidden into the mountain. Dr. Addams dug deep into his knowledge of the Mythos and saw the mountain shift into a man or a woman or both who’s head is replaced by a bright red tongue. Then it shifted back to the mountain, then to a bloated woman with tentacles, and then back to the mountain. His ability to deal with madness is almost legendary even after drinking tainted tea. While the other two had Mr. Shipley’s attention, Monsieur Dupond noticed that there were two doors. One was locked and likely a closet, the other led to a basement. Monsieur Dupond bought this painting, because it was clear that it related to the quest that they were deep into. He noticed that Mrs. Shipley when they left, was too nice. It was clear that she wanted them out of the house. Afterwards they drove to a late night pub where Mr. Arterbury got a chance to meet these two experienced travelers who have seen far worse than they care to remember.
They decided at the pub to further investigate this artist, mostly because they thought that Mrs. Shipley was definitely hiding something. They went back to the house, but this time to scout it out for a couple of days. They noticed a few things. Mrs. Shipley during the sunniest part of the day was outside laying in a hammock among the trees of the backyard. There were two doors in and out of the house, but Monsieur Dupond also noticed a coal shoot. One night, they saw Miles Shipley bring home a woman that he didn’t seem too interested in. They waited for her to come out to follow home, but she never did. So during the day on Tuesday, they snuck into the basement through the coal shoot. They had to climb through some boxes and broken chairs to a pathway that led from the wall to the stairs. They climbed up the stairs to where the paintings were stored. They ignored everything except the closet which they unlocked. Inside was a single easel with a covered painting. Dr. Addams quickly pulled off the cover to see the painting underneath. The painting was magical.
The entire painting was set on a beach next to a marsh or swamp. On the left side there was a shack, that has a sign out front, like a bar on the backstreets of London, with some light coming from a window. Above the shack was a moon, a full moon, that is dripping on the shack with silver rain drops. There was also a shooting star streaking across the sky. There was a woman running towards the shack with a dog on a leash. They could actually see her run, moving across the painting. On the right side, at the edge of the beach and next to the water, were humanoid snake creatures eating the flesh out of shells. The meat is a fluorescent blue. One of the snakemen looked up at the woman running away and another was looking straight at the adventurers looking at the painting with hunger in their eyes.
Both Dr. Addams and Monsieur Dupond were able to resist the lure of the painting. Mr. Arterbury was unable and was literally sucked into the painting to see the snakemen turn and begin to eye him as food. He ran with everything he had and was able to get to the shack. Inside, was almost an even more bizarre scene. In the bar were Roman legionnaires, musketeers, and samurai all sitting at table drinking their preferred drink. The bartender motioned for Mr. Arterbury to come closer.
Back in the house, shocked to see their companion lost into a painting, Monsieur Dupond drew his knife and cut the painting. Then the painting lost all motion, but then they heard the scream of a woman. Shortly afterwards, they hear a door slam. Both of them ran and crashed through the window, as they saw Mr. Shipley lose her face and become the head of a cobra angry.