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The Outer Ones

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Celestial Darkness

Timeline1835: a prosperous merchant builds the 'Corbitt' house, but immediately falls ill and sells it to a Mr. Walter Corbitt, esquire, the owner of a successful, local furniture shop.1843, Egypt: Professor Enoch Bowen, archaeologist and student of the occult, found the Shining Trapezohedron in the Labyrinth of Kish.1844: May Professor Enoch Bowen ceases his excavations of Nephren-Ka's tomb upon finding the Shining Trapezohedron, and returns to Providence. Bowen founds the Starry Wisdom sect, buying the old Free-Will Church for its headquarters. This cult used the crystal to summon the Haunter, to whom they made blood sacrifices of infants and children.1846: Disappearances begin in Providence that rumors link to the Starry Wisdom Church. The Haunter had decided to allow its links to this realm to grow through these rituals, so that it might find the most suitable host for its essence. It told its followers it awaited the proper time and place to come forth in the shape of man.1849: A minor schism within the Starry Wisdom Church results in Rev. Orin B. Eddy setting up in an abandoned church in the North End of Boston with financial and practical aid from Walter Corbitt and with part of the Starry Wisdom Churchs collection of artifacts, occult texts, especially their collection of Egyptian funerary texts. It is called Chapel of Contemplation & Church of Our Lord Granter of Secrets. The practices of the Chapel are in the style of a Spiritualist Church with sances, sometimes aided by sorcery such as Telekinesis or by information gathered from the Haunter of the Dark in Providence, but mostly through various forms of fakery. 1852: Walter Corbitt is sued by neighbors, who petition to force him to leave the area "in consequence of his surious [sic] habits an unauspicious demeanor."The Starry Wisdoms power grew as Bowen received direct guidance from the Haunter. In return for the blood sacrifices, the Haunter gave the cultists information by means of which they obtained various artifacts and numerous dread tomes. They collected copies of the Necronomicon, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Liber Ivonis, Cultes de Goules, De Vermis Mysteriis, Pnakotic Manuscripts, and the Book of Dzyan.With the aid of certain ancient funerary texts, Orin B. Eddy makes progress rediscovering Ancient Egyptian techniques for everlasting life. 1858: A growing feud between Orin B Eddy and the main body of the Starry Wisdom Church ends in the death of Eddy. His body is cremated and buried in the crypt. Rev. Elisha Bishop is placed in charge of the Chapel of Contemplation. He discovers and continues Eddys Afterlife work.The Chapel becomes quite influential in Boston due to the patronage of powerful people as well as access to potentially damaging information on certain influential people. 1863: A branch in Townshend, Vermont, opens under the leadership of Dr. Raymond Flagg. It is based at the old West River Valley Church in West Townshend (formerly Congregational).At this point, the Starry Wisdom Cult in Providence had over 200 members. 1865: Enoch Bowen dies. Dr Flagg takes over the central sect. Bowens daughter Aseneth is vice-leader and pastor of the Providence branch. Enoch Bowen is mummified and entombed in the crypts of the Freewill Church. Whether the rituals designed to maintain life after death were successful or not is not entirely clear.1866 Evidently Corbitt wins the lawsuit. His obituary in 1866 states that he still lived in the same place. It also states that a second lawsuit was being waged to prevent Corbitt from being buried in his basement, as provided by his will. Executor of Walter Corbitt's will was Reverend Michael Thomas (age 22), pastor of the Chapel of Contemplation & Church of Our Lord Granter of Secrets.1868: The Reverend Samuel Shadrach Solomon Akeley, father of Abednego Akeley, dies. Abednego succeeds him as reverend, but begins preaching the doctrines of the Starry Wisdom cult to his flock after travels through southern New England (ie. After a period of study in Providence and possibly Boston). The affiliation of his church in Townshend (South Windham church) is transferred from the traditional Congregational Protestant parent-body to that of the Starry Wisdom sect. The church is renamed as Church of Starry Wisdom, South Windham. Controversy and scandal follow.1869: A group of Irish vandalize the Starry Wisdom Church in Providence, apparently in retaliation for their perceived involvement in kidnapping a fellow. Abednego Akeley dies at the age of 39 and his church closes. Rev. Akeley was killed by an unknown assailant. And seriously wounded he asked to have his brain removed that he might explore the mysteries of the cosmos. After Rev. Akeleys death Some of the congregation move to Providence, others practice at the West River Valley Church in West Townshend. In fact Akeley has had his brain removed by the Outer Ones in order to be initiated to the mysteries of the universe. Meanwhile, key community leaders are gradually brought under the influence of the Outer Ones or replaced with those who are already.A branch of the Starry Wisdom sect in Chicago known as the Celestial Providence sect is disbanded by the Great Chicago Fire.The Starry Wisdom at West River Valley Church is closed down after external pressure.1872: South Windham Church becomes a Baptist church.1876: Policemen showed up at the Chapel of Contemplations doorstep in search of a sacred golden box (once the property of Nephren-Ka) from Egypt which had vanished from the British Museum shortly after Bishop made an unsuccessful bid to purchase it. (This box would eventually show up in the hands of Rupert Merriweather, with whom it will be found at the start of the rulebooks The Edge of Darkness scenario.) The authorities, upon searching the Chapel, found the false panels and secret doors used to stage sances and trick congregants. 1877 May: The Starry Wisdom cult in Providence is disbanded after threats from the locals. The cultists leave town by year's end. Aseneth Bowen was commanded by the Haunter to leave the Shining Trapezohedron in the church for safekeeping. Empowered by the Haunter, Dr. Flagg and Aseneth Bowen wove a spell casting an aura of dread and fear over the building. The crystal was left in the church, along with some of the sects library of occult texts. No one in the neighborhood dared to explore the church. The Townshend and Boston branches are reinforced by refugees from Providence. The Townshend sect is now about 100 strong, but is forced to practice in secret.Others migrate to Boston, where they swell the attendance at the Chapel of Contemplation. Many others head west, to California, where a branch is established in Los Angeles.Meanwhile, remnants of the sect continue secretly in Providence under the leadership of Aseneth Bowen.Elisha Bishop dies. While a coffin went into a plot in Mount Auburn, his body rested in a small, secret chamber beneath the Chapel of Contemplation. Spiritual manifestations within the chapel picked up considerably, as Bishops spirit made itself manifest. Thomas revives the sect with the aid of Elisha Bishops spirit.1878 The Starry Wisdom at West River Valley Church is re-opened as a Spiritualist Church called the Spiritualist Church of Astral Knowledge.c. 1880: Ghost stories centering around the former Starry Wisdom Church begin around this time. A Yorkshire branch of the cult arises, possibly founded by Dr. Raymond Flagg. It is active until around 1890.Winter 1881: Marrion Allen, an amateur occultist from Arkham, and leader of a group calling themselves The Dark Brotherhood joins The Chapel of Contemplation in Boston.Feb. 1882: Marrion Allen steals two items from the Chapel, both artifacts from the tomb of Nephren-Ka: a miniature sarcophagus and an ancient Egyptian trumpet. In the process he kills one of the sect members and injures another.August 1883: Marion Allen flees from members of Starry Wisdom to New Orleans where he sells the Horn of Nephren-Ka at a curio shop in an attempt to raise funds to flee the country. Soon after, he is killed by agents of Starry Wisdom on the docks. 1890: By this time, the Yorkshire Starry Wisdom cult has fallen apart. Dr. Flagg seems to have disappeared after this.1892: Aseneth Bowen dies. Her body is mummified in a chamber beneath her house in Providence by Rev. Michael Thomas.1893: The spell around the original church prevented anyone from entering the building until a reporter from the Providence Telegram, Edwin M. Lillibridge, possessed of great force of will, made his way into the building to investigate stories of the church being haunted. He found the crystal and accidentally summoned the Haunter. The Haunter killed Lillibridge in a failed attempt to merge with the hapless human.1895: An edition of De Vermis Mysteriis is supposedly published by Starry Wisdom Press, but no copies have been found. 1909: Starry Wisdom Press allegedly releases a version of Unaussprechlichen Kulten as well, but no copies are ever found. 1911: A New Orleans jazz musician and trumpet-maker called Lightning Billy Watkins spots the Horn of Nephren-Ka in a curio shop and noting its unusual tones, converts it into a modern trumpet. 1912 Secret raid on the Chapel of Contemplation & Church of Our Lord Granter of Secrets occasioned by affidavits swearing that members of the church were responsible for the disappearances of neighborhood children. Chapel is closed. During the raid, three policemen and seventeen cult members were killed by gunplay or fire. Autopsy reports are singularly undetailed and uninformative, as though the coroner had not actually performed examinations. Though 54 members of the church were arrested, all but eight were released. The records hint of illegal intervention in the proceedings by important local official, offering an explanation of shy stories of the battle - the biggest criminal action in the city's history - never appeare