Innsmouth Academy: Hayden Montag

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Hayden Montag

Innsmouth Academy

Yourself

Do you read?  It’s a fading art. In this modern world, offer an occultist an irreplaceable manuscript, and they will claim they are waiting for the movie. All the scholarly aspect has gone out of forbidden knowledge. The studiousness, the drive. And yet in the end, even the written word could not sustain my mind. I had plumbed the depths of ancient texts, scaled the heights of correspondence with the great minds of our age, and understanding had reached an awful stalemate within me. The epiphany struck. Epiphany, and acquittal on all counts of manslaughter. Children. I put to you that children are the…perfect transmitters of knowledge. The perfect receivers. Vessels of malleable power and bottomless potential. In hindsight, my initial attempts at teaching were crude. There were restraining orders, other pesky legalities regarding abduction of minors. That is why the Illuminati brought me here. To those awaiting valuable lessons towards their future enlightened success.

The Students

You should be aware of the urgency with which we nurture our young talents. The eldest oral traditions describe recorded history as the Fourth Great Age of Mankind. An age that is closing. I could not hazard a guess if another age will follow. As a pentaphobic, I would like no part of it. But the children of today will guide the transference of tomorrow. Across the world, prodigies are manifesting powers earlier and stronger than ever before. Carter was psychokinetic at birth. Her parents quickly learned to avoid metal nursery furniture. Exposure to the island and its…checkered magical history has only amplified her abilities. From the age of twelve, she could shift laboratory animals into other dimensions. I intended to work with her on protecting them from explosive decompression at the point of return. But those lessons have been on hiatus since a regrettable zoo outing last year.

Innsmouth Academy

Perhaps I appear blase to the human tragedy that surrounds us. I am, largely. I believe one should focus on their strong subjects…empathy was never truly one of mine. Thusly, I must protect the Academy and its occupants the only way I can appreciate: analytically. Analytically, I predicted an event like this sooner. This was never a simple fishing community. Well-suited to the Illuminated Order’s love of ciphers and symbology, the island…is a triangle. A meeting of three lines of power. The ambition of mortal magic, the hunger of the Hell Dimensions…and something beyond the scope of understanding. An old and deep power, older than aeons. Most sources choose not to name it, lest in the naming it gains strength. You are aware that members of some cultures fear a photograph can steal their soul? They are, of course, correct. Well. To record this power is to take the first faltering step towards succumbing to it. Utterly. In my life, I have always striven to maintain a clear delineation between obsession and madness. 

The Secret World

Our hidden world is a sequence of disastrous events. All connected. Echoing back to creation, and forward until the death rattle of the universe. It is unfortunate, for academic purposes, that those with the time and means to draw these connections are invariably rendered insane. Having once…explored the troubled minds of patients at McLean, Danvers, Arkham, I advise you against questioning the living for explanation. Look to the dead. Their knowledge is no longer compromised by horror or shame. They are a library, a morbid encyclopedia of the acts that brought us here. To our modern world, and to humanity’s place in it. A half-way house on the evolutionary scale, between Neanderthals and something quite different, quite terrible. Something changed. Not like you are changing, probably not. But try a little background reading with the dead. They will not lie to you, unless they see an escape from torment or enslavement in it, I suppose.

The Illuminati

You may wonder why the Illuminati invested in an open institution like the Academy. It is a mirror to their brotherhood, exclusive but not elitist. I was self-taught when they first came to me, as a young offender, and ushered me firmly behind the curtain of secrecy. They are…patrons of enlightenment. They appreciate that “forbidden knowledge” is a contradiction in terms. What is recorded is meant to be known. Those who call them uncultured are clearly unaware that in lost Alexandria, Illuminati ordered their servants to transcribe even while they burned alive. The Illuminati are businesspeople who saw an opportunity and moved to fill it. For too long we have clambered, wheezing, up the spiral staircase to an era where nothing is true and everything is permitted. They have installed escalators, so all might carpe diem, carpe annum, carpe aeon. Carpe out of the hands of stuffy curators without ambition.

The Breakfast Cult

Most of the ancient wards that protect Innsmouth Academy have been disabled. Familiars are running free and predators are entering – and leaving – the academy grounds. The wards feed on anima and must be reactivated in order to control the chaos and protect the island.

Wards, real and imagined, form the careful cages of the fearful life. They are not without power. See how they have boxed societies in, marked out territories - or graveyards. Wards against death, against the past, deny that the past is cyclic. The blueprints of Innsmouth Academy were inked in blood. Time passes, blood comes again. After you have gone from here, blood will wait its next turn. The Illuminati are their own ruin. A ward is a reminder. that behind walls, such thin walls, chaos is an open mouth in a silent scream, forever.

Science and the Arts

Creatures of the occult, demons and even some people were laid into the very foundations that keep Innsmouth Academy standing. All to provide anima for the wards that protect the school, and Kingsmouth, from everything that lurks outside – and inside – the walls. Now the walls themselves are leaking anima and creatures are breaking free, leaving the school vulnerable.

The Dorms

The Pond

The Old Block

Do not be put off by the occult practice of stuffing the living into walls. it is the most efficient way of powering anima and should be considered a form of veneration. We honor them and they protect us. Until they begin to leak out. Then it is time to stop honoring them. You have done well to hold up the foundations of Innsmouth Academy. The institution itself is meaningless, all institutions are. But the secrets it holds - the countless texts - are to be respected. If you must be cornered anywhere, make it a room full of knowledge.

The Faculty

The situation at the academy is dire. Past faculty members are rampaging the grounds as specters, and the headmaster recognizes that they might reactivate an old War Golem. If that were to happen, it would be a most catastrophic situation. It’s imperative to stop the specters before they get that far.

After cleansing Innsmouth of the faculty specters I encountered the War Golem and the specter controlling it, Mal’um.

You walk through the wreckage scattered by a disturbing force. You draw closer to it. Let your footfalls become an executioner's tread, for the change this being wreaks is self-centered. The mark of petty vengeance. Learn from it. Consider how those fettered scholars, once released, could not turn upon their own institution. Still bound by ritual. Consider how the flesh engine, built only for great violence, could not comprehend its own escape. The perfect instrument of change is not compromised by looking within itself, or beyond itself. The perfect instrument is a mind in constant motion.

To Sir, with Love

A wraith from Montag’s past has come back to do more than just haunt him. The headmaster knows that in the realm of the Peacock King, blood calls for blood. However, Carter and Ms. Usher aren’t willing to let him pay the ultimate price.

You have saved the headmaster from a great act of cowardice. He knows very well that he needn't die to exorcise the wraith. His inner demons, however, are another matter. The man's ship is sinking and he is determined to go down with it. Or rather, it seems, to go down before it. This torment from his past was to be the straw that broke his back. He saw an opportunity to jump into the freezing water before it was even necessary. It will not be that easy. This line between our friends and our enemies is often blurred. Sometimes the best and worst you can do for either is to make them live another day.
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