You are unsettled by what little you have seen so far, and can’t wait for someone else to help you. You’re taking action now. A quick glance around reveals no one else outside. You run to the back of the house and grab a large brick from the walkway leading to the rear entrance. There is a window big enough for you to climb through next to the kitchen door. You hesitate for a moment before sending the brick crashing through it. The window shatters into hundreds of tiny pieces. You can still see the odd symbols on some of the larger fragments.

With the glass gone, it is a simple matter to unlock the window frame and open it. You climb into the kitchen. Your first impulse is to remove the debris from the floor, but you fight it. Finding your brother comes first.

With the exception of the strange symbols painted on the doorways and windows, you can’t see any evidence of your brother being on the main floor of the house. You can see light coming from the basement door. You know he’s there. Where else could he be?

As you open the basement door, the smell of what you assume is some sort of incense wafts over you. The stairway to the basement is covered in the same symbols you saw painted on the door and windows upstairs, though thankfully they appear to have been drawn with a marker here. The characters are tightly-packed and chaotically placed, as if your brother wanted to leave as little space between each one as possible. You can see symbols repeated across the wall, as if he was writing in some alien alphabet, but you can discern no pattern from the writing. A single bare bulb lights the stairwell, and what little light comes from the basement proper occasionally flickers.

When you make your way to the bottom of the stairs, you can see that every flat surface in your brother’s room, save his desk, is covered in red candles. The sheets on his bed lay askew, and the center of the room lies empty. He has torn up the carpet, revealing the poured concrete floor beneath. On the concrete, an intricately designed series of circles is drawn in chalk. A large empty one sits in the center, big enough for a person to sit or stand in. It is connected to seven smaller ones by a single line to each. The seven small circles have some of the same characters you see on the walls drawn around the inside of their circumference.

[IMAGE?]

In the dancing candlelight, you can see your brother has covered the walls of the basement with more of the same symbols, as well as elaborate seals and sigils like those you saw while playing The Inner Domain years ago. At the center of each wall, seals are drawn, each with seven smaller ones connected via a single line, like the empty one on the floor. They align perfectly with the series on the ground. You look up: the ceiling is bare, save a mirror image of the symbols on the floor, also aligned perfectly.

On your brother’s desk, beside a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of water, is a map. It charts out in intricate detail The Beneath, the underground tunnels that make up The Inner World. In red ink, he has circled three locations: The Temple, The Tombs, and The Crossroads.

[IMAGE?]

You see no sign of your brother anywhere.

 

SCOUR THE HOUSE - CALL THE POLICE