The Unanswered Riddle

Happy New Year, fellow gamers! Today marks three months since my players and I gathered for the first session of the “Merciful Things” audio-campaign. Currently we are knee-deep in the classic Call of Cthulhu starter-scenario “The Haunting”. Our first session took the party of investigators:

Doctor Rudolph Von Schernberg, a scholarly gentleman

Detective Samuel Crabtree, an NYPD veteran,

Miss Cynthia Rockwell, a flapper dilettante, and

Mister Francis McCoy, a bootlegging businessman,

on a mystery romp through government records, legal reports, and even the dubious testimony of a mentally unstable immigrant family. The group’s findings findings were marked by chilling implications and deeper questions, all of which seemed to lead inexorably to the piece of property known as the Corbitt House.

At the end of the final episode, I, Keeper Timm, left a riddle and an ultimatum. I continue to stand by my pact: I will start the second season of recording if and only if my riddle gets answered. This has not happened yet, so if you want to hear (or potentially see!) more of the adventure, my question is reprinted here for your benefit:

“The Corbitt Diaries found at the end of this episode are given only a brief description in the official adventure of ‘The Haunting’. For my players, I provided three books with inserted diary pages as visual aids. Included in these pages were the creepy thoughts of Corbitt’s slowly degenerating mind, as read by the Detective. My question to you is this, from what famous work of literature did I essentially lift or paraphrase a large portion of the diary’s monologue?”

Detective Crabtree’s reading of the Corbitt Diaries can be heard here, in its entirety, in Part 3 of our fifth episode– but your faithful Keeper would recommend listening to the last five seconds of Episode 5 (Part 2) for some helpful context. Listen and carefully consider your evidence; my only hint will be that the book in question is NOT a work authored by H.P. Lovecraft. In fact, the Lovecraftian elements of the diaries are largely misleading– focus primarily in the first, more “mundane” volume of the diaries. In the age of the internet, I can say no more, but only trust that intelligent investigators will work it out before long.

Good luck, and as always, good gaming!

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