Episode 17: The Shadow over Fells Harbor


Julie and her friends return to Arkham and find that the football team is doing extremely well. Harmon Creel, their friend with the Innsmouth look, is a very aggressive fullback and the team's star quarterback, Buck Baker, is back after missing last year and demonstrating superhuman strength and speed. The school's SAT scores have hit an all-time low, but Coach Mundy is pleased. Uh, that should be Principal Mundy. Principal.


There aren't many deaths from "neck rupture" either, which is always a good sign. Indeed, the Sewer Gang has been entirely absent, and Moonstomp is darn pleased that our heroes killed Angus back in California. Now there's plenty of butchers' blood for Stomp and his friends, or would be if he had any.


But Harmon isn't just blossoming on the ball field -- he's also in police custody for beating up his girlfriend. This shocks Billy, even when it turns out the "girlfriend" in question isn't Thessaly Soros, whom Harmon was dating, but Serendip the rakshasa. Apparently Harmon knocked her unconscious and can't remember what happened ... Quentin, Walker's cousin from Jersey, drove his bike into a lamppost and was knocked out, and Billy's ratlike relatives have all abandoned the family trailers for parts unknown. Moonfang the werewolf still owes Billy a favor, but he's getting antsy and becoming threatening, demanding Billy think of something NOW!


Everyone, in fact, who is part-human and part-animal is showing signs of mental aberration: Deep Ones, Bouchers, werewolves. It's all because of some primal, mysterious call which draws Walker to the sleepy fishing village of Fells Harbor, along with the Bouchers, all the local Deep Ones and a bunch of other assorted freaks from the hills. Julie tries to talk Walker down from whatever weird animal high he's on, but although he's willing to converse with her, his replies don't make a lot of sense. Pretty soon they stop forming words.

Billy comes motoring into town with a nun on his bike. It's his cousin Annie from Providence, who immediately recognizes the signs of a mass demonic summons.


The affected demi-humans are being told to steal boats and travel to a spot about a mile offshore, where a motley flotilla of boats and rafts is congregating from up and down the coast. A whole busload of Deep Ones arrives, and Billy hijacks the bus to come to the aid of Julie, Walker and Dr. Armitage, whose van is being rushed by a hundred or so crazed semihumans. Their animal characteristics are becoming more obvious, both in their behavior and even their facial bone structure.


Walker tries to get it together long enough to change the van's torn back tire, while Julie keeps the horde at bay. But he can't -- he tries to leap down into the water, then turns about at a silent summons and tries to grab Diligence out of the van. Julie knocks him out and hauls him aboard. Then everyone hightails it, leaving the cultists to their fate.


Or so it seems ... Diligence's attempt to use a spell of similarity to determine the agency responsible for the Call goes terribly wrong, as it turns out the being responsible is Zarathos, the demon who touched him during the final battle with the Fourth of the Fallen last year. The demihumans who can hear Zarathos' call are told to take Diligence to the sunken city, because he is the Key to Zarathos' release. This, however, they are prevented from doing by Juliet, while Walker is being restrained to prevent him grabbing Diligence and running off.


The Navy is called in to blow up the offshore reef with depth charges. Annie the nun helps the townspeople crowd into the Seventh-Day Pentecostal Church of the Brethren, while the horde of shambling, maddened demi-humans tries to force their way in, and it's looking like Alamo time when several window-shattering blasts echo from the sea and everyone is released from the spell. And we never learn exactly what it was that lurked off the coast of Fells Harbor, or what they were supposed to do with Diligence once they got him there, but everything is back to normal ...


... except Thessaly Soros, who has fallen into a coma. She was widely thought to be a Yithian inhabiting the body of Thessaly, the girl Julie met in the spirit world. Now the mind is gone!