Dear Esteemed Members of the Town Council,
This has been a truly dreadful week in the city which has seen five gruesome murders take place on our streets. With at least one poor girl still missing, I fear the evil that until recently seemed content with visiting our dreams has now decided to crawl on our shores!
Research from across the city, and especially from the staff of Frau Lowey, has shown that the nightmares were not caused by any environmental factor such as a toxin or miasma but rather by a concentrated shockwave of mental energy, most likely caused by the protracted arrival of the monster the Scamps have taken to calling Steal Head. I believe this to the be the same creature that attacked and damaged Captain Crieghton’s submarine in our recent expedition to the deep waters off our coast. I myself was knocked unconscious in the attack, but Captain Creighton and Miss Jonson captured several images of the beast as it continued its attack, seemingly trying to get at us inside. Luckily the sub held together but it took a heroic effort on Captain Creighton’s part to raise us to the surface and get away from the monster.
Steal Head is an apt name for the brute as my post mortems on all five victims can attest. Each death occurred due to sudden decapitation with no other significant physical injuries found. The heads of these poor folk were simply torn (or in some cases bitten!) right off. None of the heads have, to this date, been recovered. Until we know why the creature takes only the head, may I just add that popular & somewhat ghoulish public speculation that they are being eaten is extremely unhelpful and distressing to the families of the victims.
I look the liberty of contacting Miss Homewood at the public library with regards to some research into instances of ritualistic head removal and in short measure she had furnished me with several reference books that detailed just such instances. Although many of the practices mentioned could be passed off as misrepresentations, rumours and lies, one passage did stand out. In Frome’s “Pizarro’s Legacy – Blood and Gold” there is a curious section entitled “A Treatise on the Savage Beliefs of the Cultures and Sub-Cultures of Peru” which, amongst a great many other things, deals with the Nasca people’s practice of keeping heads as a sort of trophy. It is within that section that I stumbled upon mention of a God-like creature the Nasca worshipped (or feared, it is unclear) who swam in the sea as a whale but came to the land to gather and collect the heads of his faithful’s enemies (or the faithful themselves, again this is unclear). Only one image exists of the creature in the manner of a small carving carried by fishermen for protection. The carving is indicative of the artistic nature of the the Nasca and appears to show a bi-pedal whale-like creature with a human head clutched in its teeth-laden maw. Apart from fragments, the Nasca language has been lost but one name comes down to us through the ages. It appears this creature, this God-figure, this head-collector had a name and that name was Ya Yiwama, which could be said to mean The Thief of Heads or, as I’m sure you have realised, Steal Head.
Now as a man of science and medicine I find the idea that the streets are being haunted by an ancient South American God intent on turning our fair city into a charnel house almost beyond the pale, but given the weight of evidence that has been uncovered or alluded to over the last few weeks I’m at a loss to come to any other conclusion.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Town Council, I fear Ya Yiwama, an ancient and evil butcher God, has found his way to Steelhead and has but one thought on his mind – to kill and kill again. And it is because I fear this antediluvian monstrosity is driven by a hunger for heads that can never be sated that I implore you to muster the newly formed Steelhead Militia! Call upon the Baron’s Jagers! Set patrols with the Nuns! The public must be protected!
Why only today I was approached by a local business man who is willing to act now to organise flying patrols of the city following a very kind offer from one Miss Qlippothic Projects and her crew. Mr Danielovich of Velvel’s Bazaar in Shanghai can furnish you with details, but I was assured the cost to the city would be negligible; a covering of expenses, some Sunstones from our mines for power and a berth for their craft so the crew refuel and their company’s founder is able to explore the city. I beg of you all, good members of the Council, to take up Miss Project’s kind offer and restore some calm to our terrified streets!
Yours in Dire Straits!
Rynhold Beck (Dr.)
13 to 14 Shamian Alley,
To be continued…