Masks of Nyarlathotep
The Penhew Foundation
A photograph: sitting on the desk in a silver frame is a small photograph of an imposing three-story country mansion. If able to closely inspect the image, the name “Misr House” can be seen.
Telegram: within a locked drawer of the desk is a recently arrived telegram from Dr. Henry Clive updating Gavigan on the excavations at the Giza plateau.
Desk: a drawer contains a .32 revolver and a box of bullets, a couple of false passports, and a number of bundles of used five- and ten-pound notes totaling £2,000 ($10,000). Beneath the desk is a stout metal box containing miscellaneous paperwork.
Paperwork: various receipts for goods and services, including deliveries to Henson Manufacturing, Derby for wood and coal, iron ingots, copper wiring, and an expensive cast iron safe, a receipt from Ferris & Sons of London for the six-month hire of a truck, and a letter from a Mr. Puneet Chaudhary of Ropemakers Fields, Limehouse, relating to the warehousing and shipment of “sundry antiquities” to Shanghai onboard a ship called the Ivory Wind. Underneath the pile of receipts, a business card’s edge is wedged into one of the box’s corners.
Artwork: natural to a man in Gavigan’s line of work, a small gallery of art consisting of ancient icons, statues, and wall art is displayed here. The pieces of wall art are hung on masonry and stucco surfaces, screwed to the original stone walls. Most are obviously Egyptian or proto-Sumerian; everything is extremely old—most dating back to the Twenty-Second Dynasty (circa 943 to 730 BCE, the Middle Intermediate Period), although one piece, a small statuette of a pharaoh-like figure whose face is obscured by a mass of intricately carved squirming tentacles, dates to the late Third Dynasty (circa 2650–2575 BCE, in the Old Kingdom). The other pieces include:
• A dark winged thing, seemingly both leprous and scaly.
• A winged hulking beast, with dragon-like tail and a fang-ringed jaw.
• A group of prowling human-seeming beings, whose eyes are far too big upon disfigured faces.
• Many red-orange colored bursts of color or light that are gathering around a tall dark humanoid, who appears to be on fire.
Tall wooden crate: several wooden crates are stacked about; all but two are open and empty. A tall, closed crate is stenciled “Ho Fang Import/Export, 15 Kaoyang Street, Shanghai, China,” in both English and Chinese. In smaller letters are the words “Attention Honourable Ho Fang.” The lid is easily pried off. Inside is a corroded brass statue of a bulbous thing wearing an Asian rice hat; a snake pit of tentacles seem to be bursting forth from beneath the hat. It sends shivers down the spine of anyone touching the cold and strangely oily surface. The statue weighs over 300 lbs.
Small wooden crate: stenciled “Randolph Shipping Company, Port Darwin, Northern Territory, Dominion of Australia”, along with a curious symbol that seems to show a stylized deer’s head or winged creature. In smaller letters are the words “Personal To Mr. Randolph.” Inside is a 16 inch high representation of a fat, dragon-like figure, whose evil-looking head is fringed by tentacles. When the small statue is touched, an odd tingle passes through your arms and torso.
Ornate Chest: fashioned of carved sandalwood and inlaid with silver depictions of unwholesome creatures, which look like a bizarre cross between an ape and a lizard, and whose arms are unnaturally extended. Inside the box are two ornate silver daggers.
Bookcase: within the fine walnut bookcase are several glass-protected shelves of books and scrolls, as well as small stone jar tucked away between the tomes. Volumes in German, French, Russian, Latin, and Spanish are recognizable, while two are in English. There are 15 scrolls in total, all very old. Of the 15 scrolls, six are in Arabic, four in Latin, two in Medieval French, one in Old English, one in Greek, and one in Egyptian hieroglyphs.