Title Translation (English): Divided Equinox
Location: Gavigan’s Secret Room at Penhew Foundation (England)
Physical Description: Hand-written and illustrated medium-sized manuscript with untrimmed, worn pages bound in soft calf leather
Author: Ghyslain d’Aramitz, a French merchant, colonial administrator, and explorer. The great-grandson of Henri d’Aramitz, lay abbot of Aramitz (1620-1674) and the historical basis for Aramis of Dumas’ Three Musketeers.
Publication History: Single copy, written in French and completed in 1807 as a memoir
Recounts his experiences traveling around the world with an interest in detailing and comparing various regional customs and beliefs in locales he visited, including North Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as a substantial amount of text devoted to recounting unusual regional farming and hunting practice with the intent of bringing useful information back to France to support agricultural advances in the nascent French Republic.
Amidst these descriptions, readers will find numerous accounts of folk customs, including several grim medieval rituals originating from South Central France (Averoigne region), which he recalls witnessing at various ages during his upbringing in Oloron. The author describes a personal fascination with understanding the basis for such dark regional practices and engaged in vigorous, often dangerous efforts to broaden his exposure during his travels.
Connection to the Broader Campaign: The tome contains numerous connections to the campaign with references to Nyarlathotep’s avatars, including The Witch Maker, Bloody Tongue, and Three-Eyed Shadow. The Keeper may elect to foreshadow future avatar appearances or recall the Father of Maggots. Investigators will find a description (or illustration) of the mark of the Bloody Tongue encountered in the New York chapter, but you may also wish to include markings from other chapter settings, as well, such as the Sand Bat tattoo.
The most important clue contained in the book will be directions to the Black Mountain in Kenya.
The medieval rituals reported can be tied to descriptions from the Livre d’Ivon and its counterparts. Skimming Gavigan’s copy of the Liber Ivonis may include page references to the Équinoxe Divisé and vice versa, which could denote spells such as Contact Zhothaqquah (Tsathoggua).
Rituals in Averoigne:
“When I was a young boy, I followed a group of hooded peasants into the woods one cool fall night. Standing outside the entrance to a dark cavern they brought forth a young woman, bound and struggling to sit upon the patch of bare ground. They began a low and rapid chant. It sounded like the song of sick and maddened toads.
Foolishly, I followed their torchlight as they descended into the depths of the cavern. Hidden behind a boulder and choking from the fetid odor, I watched them crouch low as they resumed their unsettling croaking. Slowly a massive form appeared in the midst of them and they offered up the helpless woman. The object of their worship dismembered and consumed the wailing villager greedily.
A few moments passed before I realized what I had witnessed, and I unconsciously released a muffled cry. The hooded figures turned in unison towards my hiding place. As they peered into the dark, a bulbous palm flashed out and grabbed one of the hooded worshippers. The horror gripped me, and I stumbled through the dark searching for the weak light of the new moon. In both dreaming and waking moments, I could never escape what I had seen.”
“The sailors returning from the Moluccas spoke in hushed tones of the terror they witnessed between the isles. They described a giant bat-winged monstrosity gliding alongside their ship on a moonlit night trailing a dark array of writhing appendages. Not a giant squid tossed from the waves, but a dark beast with a singular three-lobed eye burning with a dark red light. The first mate boldly looked deep into that eye as it swiftly passed their ship in the night. Mere hours later he had thrown himself overboard raving madly.”
“I have heard of the Dark Man, lurking in the backwoods of New England. This one they have deemed the “Witch Maker,” who assumes the blackened visage of the Devil himself. He binds the weak-willed into unbreakable pacts forming dangerous covens throughout the countryside bringing discord and death to that fragile new country.”
“A peer returning from the troubled Saint-Domingue brought word of strange happenings in the Viceroyalty of Peru. His brother, a silver trader, related the story of strange men wandering the countryside amid the Túpac Amaru uprising preying on the weak and fallen. According to rumors among miners, a disparate band of ghouls disguised themselves as explorers from centuries of yore and reduced their victims to mere husks. Guarded whispers amongst the natives spoke of their foul unseen master, le père des asticots (Father of Maggots). I have no wish to entangle myself in Spanish affairs.”
Journey to the Black Mountain:
“We negotiated with Omani traders to debark at their coastal centre. We feared our journey would be for naught when we learned of the recent treaty between the British and Omani Empire. Damn those East India Company bastards! Fortunately, these men appreciated our ivory riches and provided us with necessary provisions and guides for the journey to the mountains. We set out immediately for Kirinyaga to find the Black Mountain where the Bloody Tongue dwells. I must confirm the rumors divulged by the Ottoman merchants. They speak of a monstrous beast dwelling in the mountain.”
“For days, we sought refuge in our tents as an apocalyptic storm raged over the dry plains with a sulfurous gale clouding the air with dust and grit. Outside strangely tinted lightning danced threateningly through the sky. Soon we found ourselves forced to brave the storm as a hellish wildfire ignited from a nearby strike. The pyre illuminated the dark sky and through the swirling clouds we could occasionally glimpse the Black Peak looming and lit by arcs of wild light”
“We stopped at a small village populated by the local Kikuyu people. The grown was sodden with rain from the recent storms. A single young man fearfully emerged from his hut to speak to our guide. He forcefully requested our departure and pointed animatedly over the wide plain toward the distant forest and mountains.”
“We scrambled through the thick undergrowth of the forest ringing the dark peak. Slowly we crept up the slope of the mountain, drawn to the wailing and the drums. Light flickered over the top of the ridge as screams pierced the night. We had left our guide dead on the slope where he collapsed after a thick green serpent fell from a tree upon him. Horrific visions instantly fell upon us as we summited. Nude, blood-soaked figures cavorted over writhing bodies riddled with terrible wounds. Amputated limbs strewn across the ground recalled my days on the battlefield and I steeled myself with the Lord’s Prayer. I witnessed unspeakable horrors on that Black Mountain, which culminated in the arrival of a giant dripping beast that immediately destroyed dozens of the celebrants in a ruthless slaughter. Amidst the bloodshed stood a single bold woman covered in strange chalk-white sigils. Moments later, she led the survivors into the face of the mountain as the terrible beast roared into the night. I can still hear the unearthly echoes ringing within my head.”