Masks of Nyarlathotep
Leader of the Carlyle Expedition and millionaire playboy.
No police record; no military service. Always wealthy, always neglected and ignored by his father. Young Carlyle craved attention. His lawyers evaded a paternity suit against him when he was 17. Roger underwent short treatments for alcoholism when he was 18, and again when he was 20. Miraculously, he graduated from Groton, but was allowed gentleman’s resignations from a succession of excellent universities (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Miskatonic, Cornell, and USC) in the next three years. When his parents died in an automobile crash, Carlyle seemed to take stock of himself and for the next year gained the general approval of his peers, retainers, and relatives. But he slipped back into his old ways when his sprightly sister (who had not neglected her studies) showed a better grasp of family affairs.
His lack of character seemed confirmed when Carlyle fell under the influence of a mysterious East African woman, a self-styled poetess with the nom de plume of Nichonka Bunay. Rumors of debaucheries and worse circulated among police, journalists, and others whose business it is to know the backgrounds of public personalities. Roger Carlyle began to drain great sums of money from family interests, which prompted vicious arguments between himself, Erica, and their executives. In person Carlyle remained forthright and friendly, and was a popular figure at glittering New York night spots. In the months before he left for Egypt, Carlyle seemed to withdraw and become more serious. But though Carlyle might have been maturing, the goals of the expedition remained nebulous and secretive, even to those who should have known.
The first Carlyle, Abner Vane Carel, was transported to Virginia in 1714, having been convicted of “unwholesome and desperative activitie” not otherwise characterized by Derbyshire authorities. Abner was the illegitimate and dis- credited son of an undistinguished Midlands nobleman. Abner’s son Ephraim moved to New England, adopted “Carlyle” as a more gallant surname, and made sound investments in lumber and textiles, the basis of the family fortune to come. The Carlyle interests amassed huge profits during the American Civil War, and far-sighted management further expanded the financial empire in the half-century thereafter.