Ire of the Void is a novella written by Richard Lee Byers and published by Fantasy Flight Games under their Arkham Horror Files label. The story revolves around one of the setting's recurrent characters, Norman Withers.
When renowned physicist Professor Claus Schmidt visited Arkham in 1926 as part of his research, he was befriended by university lecturer Professor Norman Withers, who by that point in his career was considered something of a crackpot by his peers due to his claim that several stars in the sky had simply disappeared overnight. Withers agreed to assist Schmidt in his unconventional task in exchange for having him look at his own work afterwards to see if Schmidt could could cast a new perspective on why the stars had vanished.
The two proceeded to investigate the sites of historical missing persons reports, as Schmidt believed that gravitational anomalies had caused the disappearances, and in the first two locations did indeed obtain some strange results; Withers, however, was plagued by the thought that they were being observed by something malevolent.
Upon reaching the third site, an apparently-disused barn, they found it to have been taken over by a bootlegger who was using it as a storage place for his illegal liquor. After persuading the guard that they posed no threat to the enterprise, they were allowed to conduct their research; however, in the process they disturbed some malign entity which killed the guard and pulled the unfortunate Schmidt through a portal to another dimension.
After Withers escaped, he went straight to the County Sheriff who, whilst not believing the story, knew that Arkham was home to many strange happenings, and accepted that as long as the professor change his statement to something more conventional, then he would initiate a missing persons search.
Withers, unhappy with this turn of events, decided to take things into his own hands. Approaching the editor of the Arkham Advertiser, he agreed to give the man an exclusive interview about the disappearance of Professor Schmidt in exchange for access to the paper's archives. There, he found reference to a man named Jonathon Hobart Stane whose fiancée had been brutally murdered in an apparently motiveless assault. Stane's address had been one on the list possessed by Schmidt.
Upon visiting with Stane, the man informed Withers that his research had uncovered the fact that the disappearances had been perpetrated by creatures known as the Hounds of Tindalos, that he and his wife had also been victims of their predations, and that they were known to return for those that had escaped them.
Immediately after revealing this information, Stane pulled a gun on Withers and informed the professor that he had so far avoided their attentions by kidnapping others and summoning the Hounds before feeding them these unlucky victims in his place. Luckily for Withers, his quick thinking allowed him to turn the tables on his captor, and the emergent Hound devoured Stane instead.
Withers then used the magical knowledge he discovered at Stane's address to open a breach in the old barn to the dimension inhabited by the Hounds and, armed with a Tommy gun and some dynamite which he had procured from Old Sadie Sheldon - the gangster whose man had been killed during the attack on the scientists - set out to rescue Schmidt.
At the end of the story, Schmidt was unfortunately unable to assist Withers with the problem of the missing stars, but resolved to keep looking into the gravitational anomalies, albeit by safer methods.
Main Characters Edit
- Norman Withers, the protagonist and a lecturer at Miskatonic University.
- Claus Schmidt, a German physicist on an information-gathering expedition to Arkham.
- Jonathon Hobart Stane, a survivor of an attack by the Hounds of Tindalos.
Minor Characters Edit
- Davison, a student in Professor Withers' class.
- Professor Grant, a member of the faculty at Miskatonic University.
- Mrs. Page, a homeowner visited by the scientists in the course of their investigation.
- Father Michael, a resident priest at South Church.
- Frankie, a member of Sadie Sheldon's bootlegging crew.
- Officer Galeas, a law enforcement officer with the Arkham Police Department.
- Sheriff Engle, head of the County Sheriff's Department.
- Deputy Dingby, a County Sheriff.
- Doyle Jeffries, editor of the Arkham Advertiser.
- “Old” Sadie Sheldon, a bootlegger.
Behind the Mythos Edit
Ire of the Void was published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2018 as a hardback novella under the Arkham Horror Fiction imprint as part of their Arkham Horror Files line. The release includes a sixteen page full-colour insert featuring extras such as artwork of the items and locations featured in the story, as well as fake newspaper reports on the incidents. Also contained are a set of four exclusive cards for use in Arkham Horror: The Card Game.