After the events in Luxor, the investigators took some time to sort through the personal effects of their fallen comrade, Anthony Stromboni. There they found a letter, written just prior to Tony’s death, explaining that he was sent to Luxor to retrieve the Cthulhu statue from the Chicago House expedition. Once Tony returned the statue to his employer, a gangster named Giovanni Merluzzo, the man would release Tony’s sister, Helen, who was being held against her will.
Although Charlie Frost decided to bow out in order to pursue full-time alcoholism, the rest of the group agreed that they would head back to Chicago to try and save Tony’s sister. Once there, Woodhouse reunited with an old war buddy and scientist named Algernon Grindell Lovelace, and the group spent the night at his meager lodgings.
The next day, having no clear idea how to track down Merluzzo, the party decided to investigate Tony’s last known address for some sort of lead. Upon arriving at the run-down bungalow, it was clear that there was someone else already in the house. After some cautious investigation, the group discovered an orphan boy, about twelve years old. The boy said his name was Jo, and that Helen Stromboni often showed him kindness by feeding him and letting him sleep there. He, like the rest of the group, was concerned about Helen’s current whereabouts.
While this conversation was taking place, four men dressed in trench coats and fedoras not-so-subtly entered the house. The men were unarmed, but they did not hesitate to charge the investigators. There was a brief skirmish, and toward the end, a mysterious gunman aided the party from outside the building. A cursory examination of the bodies by Dr. McCoy showed that the men were completely hairless and suffered from a strange combination of skin disorders that left their skin pockmarked and blotchy.
After the smoke had cleared, attention turned to the gunman outside. After some brief moments of mutual distrust, the man introduced himself as Mark “The Line” Mulligan, an ex-cop and private investigator. Mulligan had a vendetta against the mob, and Helen’s disappearance was one lead he was following up on. The shamus was also able to provide some useful information to the group; namely, that Merluzzo’s base of operations was a high-class brothel called The Twilight Lounge. Since it was the middle of the day, the group agreed that it was probably the best time to investigate this location.
Upon arriving at the Twilight Lounge, located in an old hotel in a dead neighborhood, Jo was able to pick the lock to the back door. After clearing out a small group of mob thugs that were hanging around the first floor, the investigators split up between the building’s cellar and its upper floors. While the second floor held the private rooms used by the prostitutes, it was ultimately the locked third floor that held more interesting (and sinister) findings. There, Ursula, Woodhouse, and Algernon found a series of rooms used for various rituals, a small occult library, and a magically-sealed door that no one dared open.
Findings in the basement were similarly eerie, as Mark and Robbie found a hidden hatch in the floor that led to some sort of sub-basement. With no sign of Helen in the rest of the building, could it be that she is down there somewhere? The investigators begin the long descent into the darkness…