- Szophia Markos, Alientist from Budapest, Hungary
- Bobby Richmond, Reporter from Arkham. Mass.
- Simon Chen, Medical Doctor from Arkham
- “Lucky” Sam Marsh, Student from Arkham
Etienne-Laurent de Marigny, America’s premiere occultist, is the speaker at the meeting for The Society for the Exploration of the Unexplained at Miskatonic University. He gives a fascinating speech on Caribbean and American voodoo and the occult. After the meeting a telegram arrives for de Marigny. The editor of the Times-Picayune Newspaper, Charles G. Sunstram, implores de Marigny to investigate the suspicious death of one of his reporters, Peter Gavvin. De Marigny turns to the Society for help as he is bound for the west coast the next morning. The Society decides to send Bobby Richmond and Dr. Markos along with Dr. Chen and “Lucky” Marsh to New Orleans.
New Orleans day one:
Two days later the team arrives in New Orleans and sets up headquarters at de Marigny’s courtyard home in the French Quarter. Phillippe, de Maringy’s butler, can provide assistance and transportation when necessary. The first place the team goes is the editor’s office of the newspaper. Sunstram explains that Gavvin died a few days ago on the campus of Tulane University. The police believe that Gavvin died by jumping off a building and ruled it a suicide. His body was found with him clutching the piece of paper in his hand with a strange symbol. The corner’s report suggest that he fell from a much higher height than any building at the University.
Sunstram believes that he was murdered. Gavvin was researching the story on one of the Mardi Gras Krewe’s or clubs. He told Sunstram just before he died that he was on to something strange about the Swords Krewe. He gave no details save that he believed that one of the members was involved with the occult. Sunstram hands the team Gavvins notebooks.
Armed with the two clues, the paper with the symbol and the notebooks, the team begins the investigation. The first thing they do is attempt to follow Peter Gavvins trail.
Avendon Antique Shop, French Quarter – The team learns from Avendon’s assistant that he hasn’t been to work for quite a few days.
Avendon’s home, French Quarter – Francois Avendon will only speak the investigators through the closed door. He refuses to answer any questions.
The Symbol, French Quarter – Our investigators begin to realize that the symbol clutched in Gavins hand is posted all over New Orleans in flags, banners, and paint as part of the Mardi Gras decorations.
Del Rio’s Arcane Bookstore, French Quarter – Alberto Del Rio doesn’t recognize the symbol but agrees to research it for a small fee and promises to get back to the investigators the next day.
Officers of the Swords Krewe, American District – The investigators learn from Dennis Bouchard and Craig Creighton that Randall Fowler is in charge of the parade this year. Fowler, who suffered the tragic accidental death of his wife and daughter last year, now practices spiritualism with a Voodoo priest, Papa Screech. He is attempting to ease his grief by speaking with the spirits of his dead family. Fowler has trusted Papa Screech with the Sword’s Krewe decorations for the Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball. Both men say the symbol is a sign of good luck and invite the investigators to the masquerade ball at the Fowler Estate on Mardi Gras.
The Treme neighborhood – The investigators head to the Treme neighborhood to find out more information about voodoo and Papa Screech. The Voodoo shopkeeper knows nothing about the strange symbol, claiming it has nothing to do with Voodoo. At the mention of Papa Screech the shopkeeper becomes angry. Screech is apparently considered a Bokor or an evil priest, and is associated with the “swamp business” of 1907, a police raid on a strange cult in the swamps of Louisiana. Finally the fear of Screech seems to drive the shopkeeper to kicking the team out of the store.
New Orleans day two:
Del Rio’s bookstore – The investigators find Del Rio in a very fragile mental state. He’s found a reference to the symbol, a play called “The King in Yellow”. After reading it Del Rio has a psychotic break, but Dr. Markos determines that he will recover handily. Just looking at the cover of the book causes “Lucky” to have a mental breakdown, he is forced to return to Arkham for recovery.
The 1907 Raid – visiting the police and newspaper archives, the investigators learn of the raid. Lt. Legrasse has long retired but three officers who were on the raid remain on the force.
Th Swords Krewe warehouse – investigators go to the warehouse where the decorations for the masquerade ball are being made. Dozens of workers are busy painting the yellow sign on all of the decorations. The investigators meet Papa Screech, who seems very nonchalant about their inquiries. Sneaking onto the roof investigators find unusual barrels of yellow paint.
Randall Fowlers home – Fowlers estate has no servants and looks almost abandoned. Fowler is there and is pleasant with investigators explaining that the yellow sign is a good luck symbol. Papa Screech is his spiritual adviser and helps him contact his dead family in the spirit realm. He invites the investigators to the ball and escorts them off the property.
Staking out the Fowler home -That night investigators stake out Fowlers estate. Somewhere around midnight small groups of people begin to go to Fowlers house. They appear to be the workers from the warehouse. Papa Screech is among them. No lights ever turn on inside, so after about an hour, the investigators decide to break in. The house appears deserted. On the first floor they find a store room with a bizarre symbols and diagrams painted on the wall. Dr. Markos recognizes that the symbols are for a magical gateway. Just then the painting begins to swirl and the team makes a hasty exit back to their stake out. After a few minutes groups of people begin to leave the Fowler estate. As Papa Screech walks down the street he turns to the hideout location and appears to stare right at the investigators before carrying on his way.