For much of his life, H.P. Lovecraft suffered from night-terrors in the form of waking dreams, the imagery of which inspired much of the content of his stories. He blamed it all on a key that he owned, calling it "the Key to the Gate of Dreams".
Whether the Key had been affecting Lovecraft or he in turn influenced its creation is unknown, but the end result is the same: a person whose bare skin touches the Key will be perceived as a terrifying, tentacled monstrosity by anyone who encounters them. Only people who encounter the afflicted person within a set time limit after they have handled the Key will perceive them as a monster; those who come after the limit will perceive the person normally.
The Key came to the attention of Ron Hadsell, who acquired it with the intent of exacting revenge on those he blamed for the death of his fiancee. He would approach them and hand the Key to them, saying they dropped it, then leave them to the riots that ensued.
The Warehouse first discovered the artifact after a man was beaten half to death by an angry mob of people who claimed they saw a monster. By the time the Warehouse agents had tracked Hadsell down, one person was dead, another was in a coma, and a third had nearly been killed by her husband.
Pete intercepted Ron as he headed for his last target and cornered him in a gym. Before he could be brought in, Ron used the Key on Pete and incited the gym's patrons into a riot to kill him. Only the intervention of Myka saved Pete from being mauled to death.
Real World Connections
- H.P. Lovecraft was an American author who wrote horror, fantasy, science fiction stories known for tentacled, winged, and/or many-eyed creatures such as Cthulhu. He's considered one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century.
- The artifact appears to be inspired by 'The Silver Key', a short story written by Lovecraft written in 1926 and published in 1929.