On the scrap of vellum, written in gold was nothing more than 2 words.
πόλη κλειδί - which translated, read -
The only common thread between these appearances were they only lasted for 3 days each time, and always in August.
According to family legend, this was no normal key that Malcolm uncovered.
He referred to it long after being institutionalized as a "Key that unlocked the mysteries of the unknowable universe."
The residents of Frederick, Maryland became intrigued when a circus like no other they had seen before appeared.
Full of clockwork workings, oddly dressed performers, and steam powered machinations from an era lost in time and space, it was unlike anything they had every seen.
And after 3 days, it vanished as quickly as it came.
Could it have been the Elder Gods themselves? Could it have been both?
No one seems to know. And with all evidence vanishing after three days, we may never know the truth.
While putting his father's affairs in order, he discovers a trove of unusual, and seemingly impossible items. Among them is a steamer trunk containing odd ammunition, liquids, and tools. In addition, he finds a journal written by his father.
A whisper of a path to Key City itself. And the others searching for their own doorways.
And those FROM Key City who found their way out.