and Madness Followed (Inactive)

Game Master Dennis Harry

In 1930-31, Miskatonic University funded an Antarctic Expedition which ventured forth into the icy wastes of the southern continent in search of new discoveries. Instead the intrepid adventurers found horror, tragedy, and a great and ancient secret.
Those secrets still lie under the ice of that mysterious continent waiting to be uncovered...

Lakes Camp

Reports by Survivors with Dr. Abbot Notes:
Reginald also provides you with reports from two of the trips survivors. The rest either did not give any accounts or were too disturbed to do so.


A handwritten note from Dr. Abbot. Pabodie did not give any more information than what was found in the summary report of the expanded overview of the Expedition. However, I did ask him why he was not going on the second trip which states as one of its primary objectives visiting the first site. He Stated:

“I will never go back. Ever. Nothing in the world could persuade me to set foot down there again—and I cannot explain in any way that you would understand. Oh, the poor, poor men, my friends, the fools. . . . It is not a place for us. Mankind was not made for such a place.”


A handwritten note from Dr. Abbot. McTghe was a bit more forthcoming but no less ominous when I recently interviewed him:

"The Mountains of Madness. That’s what Dyer called them. I guess they call them the Miskatonic Mountains now. Incredible things—God in Heaven! Like hallucinations—they reached up so high, impossible peaks and spires. And evil. They looked evil. I think they were.

Professor Lake . . . all of us . . . we were so excited. You should have heard Lake, talking so fast, I could hardly keep up. Those things he found—like weird kelp, or big starfish—millions of years old, and he wanted to take them apart to see what was inside. He went on, and on, wilder and wilder. You should have heard the things he said! Crazy stuff. Most of it made no sense. I think, by the end, they were all going mad"

He would speak no more of the trip itself but did speak of the return trip:

"Danforth’s the one I felt sorry for. Not that I ever liked him much, the snotty bastard. But God! How he cried! Screams and moans, and curses in weird languages.. . . We had to tie him down, all the way through the pack ice. I thought the crew would murder him so they could get some sleep.

Mountains of Madness. Yeah—and they got one victim good, at least. You heard they put him in a rest home. He needed a lot of rest.”

I was unable to interview Danforth or locate Dyer to obtain their perspectives on the matter.

Fate of M.U. Expedition Members:

Atwood - Physicist and meteorologist, also knew sextant and compass navigation. At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Dyer - Geologist, also knows sextant and compass navigation. Can pilot, but not well. Led the rescue at Lake’s Camp.
Lake - Biologist, leader of the Lake’s Camp group. Dead.
Pabodie - The engineer who made the drill. Knows sextant and compass navigation, and was in on the Lake’s Camp rescue.

Graduate Students
Brennan - Physicist. Dead.
Carroll - Geologist and pilot. Ascended Mt. Nansen with Pabodie and Gedney. He flew Lake to the mountains. Dead.
Danforth - Biologist and pilot. Knows navigation with sextant. “Brilliant young man” rescued at Lake’s Camp.
Daniels - Biologist and pilot. Dead.
Gedney - Engineer. Ascended Mt. Nansen with Pabodie and Carroll. At Lake’s Camp he operated the Pabodie Device. Missing and presumed dead.
Moulton - Geologist, paleontologist, radio operator, fair pilot (crashed plane). At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Ropes - Physicist and pilot. With the Lake’s Camp rescue attempt.

Boudreau - At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Fowler - At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
McTighe - Base operator/radio operator, Dyer’s Camp; pilot, Lake’s Camp rescue.
Mills - At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Orrendorf - At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Sherman - Cache operator, McMurdo Sound; pilot, Lake’s Camp rescue.
Watkins - At Lake’s Camp. Dead.
Williamson - With the Lake’s Camp rescue attempt.
Wylie - With the Lake’s Camp rescue attempt.

Gunnarson - At Dyer’s Camp (from McMurdo Sound); with the Lake’s Camp rescue attempt.
Larsen - At Dyer’s Camp (from McMurdo Sound); with the Lake’s Camp rescue attempt.

Starkweather-Moore Expedition Personnel Roster:

Team Leaders
James Starkweather UK Explorer, guide, lecturer
William Moore USA Geologist and organizer

Peter Sykes CAN Arctic guide
Nils Sorensen NOR Arctic guide, mountaineer
Gunnar Sorensen NOR Arctic guide, mountaineer

Science Crew
Willard Griffith USA Geologist, Cornell University
Charlie Porter USA Assistant to Griffith
Morehouse Bryce USA Paleontologist, Univ. of California
Timothy Cartier USA Assistant to Bryce
Charles Myers USA Archaeologist, Univ. of Chicago
Avery Giles USA Assistant to Myers
Pierce Albemarle USA Meteorologist, Oberlin College
Douglas Orgelfinger USA Assistant to Albemarle
Samuel Winslow USA General aide, studying glaciology

Camp Crew
Tomás Lopez USA Worker
Hidalgo Cruz ARG Worker
Maurice Cole CAN Worker
Christopher St. Claire USA Worker
Seamus MacHale USA Worker
Mickey Gallagher Ireland Worker
David Packard USA Team boss, camp security
Richard Greene USA Physician
Phoebe Barrett USA Nurse

Father Fergus Garrity USA

Christopher St. Claire USA Writer
Thomas A. Greenwood USA Writer

Louis Laroche CAN Radio tech/operator/electrician
Albert Gilmore USA Drill tech
Michael O’Doul USA Drill tech

Sled Teams
Gregor Pulasky POL Sled team chief
Enke Fiskarson NOR Dog wrangler
Olav Snåbjorn NOR Dog wrangler
34 Dogs – 3 Teams
Douglas Halperin USA Pilot
Ralph DeWitt USA Pilot
Lawrence Longfellow USA Engineer/mechanic
Alan “Colt” Huston USA Engineer/mechanic
Stanley Chastain USA Engineer
Patrick Miles USA Technician/mechanic

Gabrielle, Scottish-built in 1913.
Gabrielle crew
Americans and Europeans numbering 47
Captained by Henry Vredenburgh.

The Miskatonic University Expedition to Antarctica:

Tragedy at the Bottom of the World
The Arkham Advertiser reported on the expedition to the bottom of the world led by Geologist Dr. William Dyer, one of Arkham’s own sons!

December 1, 1930
The expedition landed at Ross Island in the Ross Sea. After several tests of the drilling gear and trips to Mt. Erebus and other local sights, the land party, consisting of 20 men and 55 dogs plus gear, assembled a semi-permanent camp on the barrier not far away and readied their five big Dornier aircraft for flight.

December 9, 1930
The party established a second base camp on the Polar Plateau beyond the top of the Beardmore Glacier (Lat 86d7m Long E174d23m) and did a lot more drilling and blasting in that vicinity.

December 13-15, 1930
Pabodie, Gedney, and Carroll climbed Mt. Nansen many fascinating fossil finds were made using the drill rig.

January 6, 1931
Lake, Dyer, Pabodie, Daniels, and ten others flew directly over the South Pole in two aircraft, being forced down once for several hours by high winds. Several other observation flights were made to points of less noteworthiness during the week before and after.

January 10, 1930
Lake, Pabodie, and five others set out via sled to probe overland into unknown lands. This expedition was scientifically successful as more fossils were unearthed.

January 22, 1931
The agenda of the trip was changed on this day as it was decided to send a very large party northeastward under Lake’s command. The party consisted of 4 planes, 12 men, 36 dogs, and all of the drilling and blasting equipment. Later that same day the expedition landed about 300 miles east and drilled and blasted up a new set of samples, containing some very exciting Cambrian fossils.
Late on the same day, Lake’s party announced the sighting of a new mountain range far higher than any heretofore seen in the Antarctic. Its estimated position was at Lat 76d15m, Long E113d10m. It was described as a very broad range with suspicions of volcanism present. One of the planes was forced down in the foothills and was damaged in the landing. Two other craft landed there as well and set up camp, while Lake and Carroll, in the fourth plane, flew along the new range for a short while up close. Very strange angular formations, columns, and spiracles were reported in the highest peaks. Lake estimated the range peaks may top 35,000 feet.

January 23, 1931
Lake commented on the likelihood of vicious gales in the region, and announced that they were beginning a drilling probe near the new camp.
The rest of that same day was filled with fantastic, exciting news that rocked the scientific world. A borehole had drilled through into a cave, and blasting had opened up the hole wide enough to enter. The interior of the limestone cave was a treasure trove of wonderful fossil finds in unprecedented quantity. After this discovery, the messages no longer came directly from Lake but were dictated from notes that Lake wrote while at the digsite and sent to the transmitter by runner.
Into the afternoon the reports poured in. Amazing amounts of material were found in the hole, some as old as the Silurian and Ordovician ages, some as recent as the Oligocene period. Nothing found was more recent than 30 million years ago.
Later that evening Orrendorf and Watkins discovered a huge barrelshaped fossil of wholly unknown nature. Mineral salts apparently preserved the specimen with minimal calcification for an unknown period of time. Unusual flexibility remained in the tissues, though they were extremely tough. The creature was over six feet in length and seems to have possessed membraneous fins or wings. Given the unique nature of the find, all hands were searching the caves looking for more signs of this new organism type.

January 24, 1931
In the early morning hours Lake reported that the fourteen specimens had been brought by sled from the dig site to the main camp and laid out in the snow. The creatures were extremely heavy and also very tough. Lake began his attempt at dissection on one of the more perfect specimens, but found that he could not cut it open without risking great damage to delicate structures, so he exchanged it for one of the more damaged samples.
Just before sunrise, strong winds rising, all hands at Lake’s Camp were set to building hurried snow barricades for the dogs and the vehicles. As a probable storm was on the way, air flight was out of the question for the moment. Lake went to bed exhausted.
No further word was received from Lake’s camp. Huge storms that morning threatened to bury even Dyer at the base camp. At first it was assumed that Lake’s radios were out, but continued silence from all four transmitter sets was worrisome. Dyer called up the spare plane to explore Lake’s digsite once the storm had subsided.

January 25, 1931
Dyer’s rescue expedition left base camp with 10 men, 7 dogs, a sled, and a lot of hope, piloted by McTighe. They took off at 7:15 a.m. and were at Lake’s Camp by noon. Several upper-air gales made the journey difficult. Landing was reported by McTighe at Lake’s camp at noon; the rescue party was on the ground safely.
A radio announcement was sent to the world that Lake’s entire party had been killed, and the camp all but obliterated by incredibly fierce winds the night before. Gedney’s body was missing, presumed carried off by wind; the remainder of the team were dead and so grievously torn and mangled that transporting the remains was out of the question. Lake’s dogs were also dead.
In addition, the bulk of the specimens had been blown away or buried by the snow leaving only a few small, damaged specimens left for inspection.
It was decided that an expedition in a lightened plane would fly into the higher peaks of the range before everyone returned home.

January 26, 1931
Early morning report by Dyer talked about his trip with Danforth into the mountains. He described the incredible difficulty in gaining the altitude necessary to reach even the lowest of the passes at 24,000 feet; he confirmed Lake’s opinion that the higher peaks were of very primal strata unchanged since at least Comanchian times.
He discussed the large cuboid formations on the mountainsides, and mentioned that approaches to these passes seemed quite navigable by ground parties but that the rarefied air makes breathing at those heights a very real problem. Dyer described the land beyond the mountain pass as a “lofty and immense super-plateau as ancient and unchanging as the mountains themselves—twenty thousand feet in elevation, with grotesque rock formations protruding through a thin glacial layer and with low gradual foothills between the general plateau surface and the sheer precipices of the highest peaks.” The Dyer group spent the day burying the bodies and collecting books, notes, etc., for the trip home.

January 28, 1931
The planes returned to McMurdo sound and the expedition, heavy of heart - packed and left the seventh continent.


Renowned Adventurer Sets His Sights on the Bottom of the World

New York (AP) May 26, 1933—World famous explorer James Starkweather announced today that he would lead a party of scientists and explorers into uncharted parts of the Antarctic continent this fall. Starkweather, accompanied by geologist William Moore of Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts, intends to continue along the trail first blazed by the ill-fated Miskatonic University Expedition of 1930–31. The Starkweather-Moore Expedition will set sail in September from New York City. Like their predecessors, they intend to use long-range aircraft to explore further into the South Polar wilderness than has ever been done before.

“This is not about the South Pole,” Starkweather explained this morning, in a prepared speech in his hotel in New York. “Many people have been to the Pole. We’re going to go places where no one has ever been, see and do things that no one alive has seen.” The expedition intends to spend only three months in Antarctica. Extensive use of aëroplanes for surveying and transport, according to Starkweather, will allow the party to chart and cover territory in hours that would have taken weeks to cross on the ground.

One goal of the expedition is to find the campsite and last resting place of the twelve men, led by Professor Charles Lake, who first discovered the Miskatonic Range, and who were killed there by an unexpected storm. The mapping and climbing of the mountains in that range and an aërial survey of the lands on the far side are also important goals.

“The peaks are tremendous,” Starkweather explained. “The tallest mountains in the world! It’s my job to conquer those heights, and bring home their secrets for all mankind. “We have the finest equipment money can buy. We cannot help but succeed.”

Starkweather, 43, is a veteran of the Great War. He has led expeditions into the wilderness on four continents, and was present on the trans-polar flight of the airship Italia, whose
crash near the end of its voyage on the North Polar ice cap received worldwide attention.

Moore, 39, a full Professor of Geology, is also the holder of the Smythe Chair of Paleontology at Miskatonic University. He has extensive field experience in harsh climates and has taken part in expeditions to both the Arctic and the Himalayan Plateau. Story Continues on page 11)

Intrepid Explorers Ready Expedition - (cont. from p.1) “We’re going back,” Starkweather said. “The job’s not done. We’re going back, and we’re going to finish what was started and bring the whole lot out to the world. It will be a grand adventure and a glorious page in scientific history!” Professor Moore, sitting quietly to one side, was less passionate but just as determined.

“A lot has changed in the past three years,” he insisted. “We have technology now that did not exist three years ago. The aëroplanes are better, brand new Boeing craft, sturdier and safer than before. Professor Pabodie’s drills have been improved. And we have Lake’s own broadcasts to draw upon.

We can plan ahead, with better materials and a knowledge of the region that none of them had when they prepared for their voyage. Yes, I am optimistic. Quite optimistic. We will succeed in our goals.” When asked what those goals were, the two men looked briefly at one another before Starkweather answered, leaning forward intently.

“Leapfrog, gentlemen!” he smiled. “We shall leapfrog across the continent. A base on the Ross Ice Shelf; another at the South Pole. One at Lake’s old campsite, if we can find it; and, gentlemen, we plan to cross over those fantastic mountains described by Dyer and Lake, and plant our instruments and our flag right on top of the high plateau! Imagine it! Like a landing strip atop Everest! “We’ll have the finest equipment, and skilled men. Geologists—paleontologists— we’ve got Professor Albemarle from Oberlin, he wants to study weather. Glaciologists, perhaps another biologist or two; the team’s not all made up yet, of course. We’re not leaving for another five months!”

“It is important,” added Moore, “to try to find Professor Lake’s camp and bring home whatever we can from the caverns he discovered. The prospect of a wholly new kind of life, a different taxonomy, is extremely exciting. It would be a shame if, having found it once, we were unable to do so again.” The two explorers plan to land thirty men on the southern continent, half again more than the Miskatonic Expedition. The expedition is privately funded and owes no allegiance to any school or institution.

Expedition Summary Repor:

The report praises Lake’s work again and again, but carefully turns aside from sensationalism. The “Pre-Cambrian footprints” referred to in the newspaper accounts of the day are identified as the fossilized imprints of some incredibly ancient form of sea-dwelling plant life, similar to the more recent well-preserved specimens found by Lake’s party in the fossil cave.

These are discussed at length, and the remaining evidence catalogued; the specimens are identified from Lake’s notes and drawings as a large thick-bodied plant similar to kelp. Lake’s description of the specimens as “animals” with “internal organs” is dismissed as scientific error resulting from over-excitement, lack of rest, and possible “snow craze”; his soapstone “carvings” are likewise dismissed as unusual water-shaped soapstone fragments. No physical specimens were brought north; the ones excavated by Lake were reportedly lost when the blizzard destroyed the camp.

The remainder of fossil finds, bones, and imprints of a wide variety of plant and animal species are well represented in the collection and the report. These paint a fascinating biological history of the Antarctic continent, confirming the notion that Antarctica was once a warm and verdant land and lending substantial support to evidence of continental drift. Dyer is at a loss to explain the disaster at the camp, though his sorrow and regret are very clear. He concludes from the state of the remains that the men of the party would almost certainly have died from the blizzard in any case, but lays the blame for the destruction of the dogs and dispersal of the evidence upon a person or persons unknown—possibly the student George Gedney, who ran amok during the hours of the storm.

The terrible desolation, the cold and dismal conditions, the thin unhealthy air, and the hours of overwork are cited as contributing factors. He discusses the anomalous mountain range in some detail, confirming Lake’s broadcast opinion that the great peaks are of Archaean slate and other very primal crumpled strata unchanged for at least a hundred million years. He discusses without analysis the odd clinging cubical formations on the mountainsides, hypothesizes that the cave mouths indicate dissolved calcareous veins, and expresses his concern that a model for the preservation of such relatively soft stone in peaks of such great height has not been made.

Of the lands beyond the higher peaks he says little, describing them only as “a lofty and immense super-plateau as ancient and unchanging as the mountains themselves— twenty thousand feet in elevation, with grotesque rock formations showing through a thin glacial layer and with low gradual foothills between the general plateau surface and the sheer precipices of the highest peaks.


Famed Sea-Captain Returns to Antarctic Waters

New York (UPI)—Commander J. B. Douglas, famed sea captain and former master of the brig Arkham, will return to Antarctic waters later
this year. James Starkweather, world explorer and leader of the forthcoming Starkweather-Moore Expedition to Antarctica, announced today that Douglas has agreed to come out of retirement and captain the expedition’s ship on their voyage of discovery.

“Commander Douglas will be an invaluable addition to our expedition,” Starkweather said. “Not only does he have a personal knowledge of many of the dangers and hazards of the South Pole, but he is an accomplished explorer and adventurer. The expedition will benefit greatly from his experience of the harsher climes and his keen inquiring mind. I look forward to providing this country’s most noteworthy scientists with a means to enrich our understanding of the natural world.”

Douglas, a twenty-five year veteran of the Merchant Marines, was sailing master of the Arkham on its 1930 voyage to the Antarctic with the now-famous Miskatonic Expedition. He retired from the sea in 1932.
Commander Douglas could not be reached for comments. Starkweather has promised interviews with the Commander beginning on September 7, by appointment.

Trip Itinerary:

The expedition departs New York on September 14th, and travels via the Panama Canal to Melbourne, Australia. There it will refuel and reprovision, and will be ready to make landfall in the Ross Sea as early as November 1st if the pack ice permits.

Like Miskatonic University’s expedition before it, Starkweather-Moore will use aircraft as its main means of transport. Three “large, fast, modern aircraft,” Boeing model 247s, have been purchased and will be arriving in a few days. A fourth smaller plane, the sturdy Fairchild FC-2 carried by several previous Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, is already aboard the ship, and will be used for mapping and exploration on the Ross Ice Shelf.

Three semipermanent camps are planned. One, on the shore of the Ross Sea, will act as the base camp for the aëroplanes. The second is to be erected near the site of Percival Lake’s last great discoveries, if the site can be found; the third, the forward base for exploration, will be located on the ancient high plateau described by Dyer as on the far side of the Miskatonic Mountains.

Many exploratory flightsare planned: the Gabrielle carries enough aircraft fuel to “fly each of the planes around the world.”

The expedition will leave Antarctica on or before February 1st of 1934. The mortal remains of the deceased Miskatonic Expedition members, if they can be found, will be brought home, along with as many of the bones and artifacts from the Lake’s Camp site as possible.


Blonde Beauty to Fly to Pole

New York (INS)–In a startling announcement from her home in Queens today, millionaire industrialist Acacia Lexington told reporters that she intends to set aside her ledger books in favor of seal furs and snow goggles, in an attempt to be the first woman to stand at the bottom of the world.

Lexington, only child of the late P. W.Lexington of this city, has for years impressed friends and adversaries alike with her skilled maneuverings in troubled financial waters. Now she intends to venture into a new realm. Accompanied by a hand-picked team of journalists,
photographers, and wilderness experts, the lovely Acacia will cross the Antarctic wastelands in a specially modified Northrop Delta aëroplane and a Cierva C-50 autogyro.

“It’s about time a woman did this,” she told our reporters. “Today’s women are capable of anything that men can do. If I am the first, it only means that others will find it easier to follow.” When asked if her planned expedition was in any way affected by the presence of no less than four other parties on the Antarctic ice this summer, Miss Lexington declined to comment.