Episode 2

Aetheric Holes and Revelations

The group take Albert Pearson back to the Professor’s house where they chat about Albert, the apparatus and what they think was happpening. Annie and Archdeacon Abbott show each other their tattoos (though Annie does it when the Professor leaves to take the artefacts into the lab). Just after they have done this Captain Eddington takes his leave of the group as he has some important things to get on with. George kept quiet through all this.

With George’s help the Archdeacon takes Albert back to Lambeth Palace in his official coach. The Archdeacon makes Albert comfortable in the lower apartment (complete with shackles). He tasks one of his assistants to look in on Albert and make sure he is fed and his thirst eased. He also asks a Mother Superior of a hospice specialising in addiction to step by next morning.

During the night George has an episode and next morning he wakes up with mud on his feet again.

Mother Superior Lockheart came in answer to Archdeacon Abbott’s summons the next morning. She told the Archdeacon that recovering Opium addicts need at least 2-3 weeks in therapy before he they recover, but the person really needs to . He will need feeding and care as well as lecturing in the ways of the Lord so that he gets back on the straight and narrow. The Archdeacon did some reading in his library about woad tattoos and found that the warriors of the Dark Ages (410-600) used to tattoo themselves in this way.

Annie began doing an investigation into the headgear artefact that had been put on Albert’s head. She concluded that the capillaries of Aether that crisscrossed the helmet were somehow enhancing the effects of the dreams of the subject to make them feel real. She confirmed that the crimson liquid had got large amounts of Opium in it.

Annie awoke next day to find that she had a pen and paper beside her bed. She had deigned a strange cone shaped device that had 12 arms that could be folded out from the top. She decided to spend the day making the device she had mysteriously drawn.

On Saturday morning Archdeacon Abbott had an unexpected visit from the Francis Brett, Bishop of Chichester. The Bishop had a Priest whose diocese was Crawley come to him with a problem. One of his parishioners, Edgar Inchcliffe, had apparently been possessed and the Priest was requesting someone who could perform an Exorcism. The Bishop instantly thought of Archdeacon Abbott whom he had met at convocation who might be able to help. Archdeacon Abbott agreed he would go down and see what he could do.

Late on Saturday afternoon the Professor came to see Annie. He told her that he had a request from the chief engineer of the Aetheric Production facility at Burley Wood near Crawley. Annie seemed quite dismissive of going there until she was told it was good for her to get out and about.
On that Saturday evening as George was coming home from work, cutting through an alleyway he usually takes as a short cut, a man dropped down behind him. The man looked like a tall ruffian from the slums but spoke with an archaic accent.

“Though is the foulest beast that shouldst be expelled from this land. For thou art an abomination in the eyes of the one true of God. I challenge thee to a duel.” With that the strange man reached behind his back and took a sword from a scabbard and through it on the floor in front of George. He then started to pull out another sword. As George saw this he quickly decided that discretion was the better part of valour and he bolted. The man started to chase him, but gave up as George got into a more populated area.

As George got home he saw a bedraggled figure on his doorstep. It was Harvey Morris who had been heavily beaten up. Harvey, through coughs of blood, apologised to George for giving away who he was to them. George took him inside and gave him a drink. When he calmed down Harvey told George that he got jumped by three men (including someone who seemed to be the tall archaic man who’d attacked him). The clocked him over the head and took him to a dark warehouse where they tortured him until he told them George’s true identity. George questioned him some more and Harvey said that he could see people’s tattoos (even through clothes). He proved it by describing George’s tattoo to him. He said that both he and Lieutenant Day had tattoos. It seems that a woman named Meghan wanted George dead, because he had killed her in the past – the thugs belonged to her. George thought it all sounded a little nuts and said he’d never heard of this Meghan woman and he’d never been to Wales.

Harvey told him that he’d best get out of town for a while as this man would be looking for George, seeking to kill him. He added that George might be able to do this and do him a favour at the same time. Harvey had had reports from friends that his son (from his estranged wife) was behaving strangely. His wife had an injunction against Harvey keeping him away from them and he wondered if George could go down there and investigate what was happening down there.

The following morning the four turned up on the platform going for the same train. Annie thought it was odd, and the four got a carriage together to discuss why they were going to Crawley. The train stopped just outside Crawley station to offload the spent Aether and take on board a new supply, before pulling into Crawley station shortly afterwards.

The group got a carriage together to go down to Burley Wood and they spotted some crows circling high about the Aether factory. The others decided to accompany the Professor and Annie, since Annie said that the crows signified death.

At the factory gates the group spotted horses in a nearby field. They were all huddled in the field as far away as they could from the factory. The Security Guard at the gate found out who they were but stopped them entering. He told them there had been an accident and that they would need to wait until they had cleared up the spill. He also said that they would need the Archdeacon’s services for last rites. After a while they were shown in by the nervous sounding Chief Engineer Felix Campion who was worried about a potential review of plant safety.

The area of the accident had a hole in the side of the machine and a man on the floor with half his face blown off. The Professor took Annie away as she should not be looking at such a horrific sight. Meanwhile a stretcher was brought to get the body out of the area, and the Archdeacon followed to check out the body for any woad tattoos (which he found none).

Once the body was cleared away the Professor and Annie checked the equipment. The Professor said that the readings on the meters were very worrying and likely the cause of the accident. They couldn’t have happened accidentally though as the readings are something that would indicate incompetence or sabotage. Felix said that Nigel Bentham had only worked there 2 months since Gerard retired. The professor checked Felix’s graphs showing the heat surges, which had been going on for some 2 months now. They didn’t match up with the appearances of the Dream Ghosts, but there was a surge when the accident happened.

Edgar Inchcliffe worked in the distribution department according to the foreman John Savage and a week ago he had an accident whereby he dropped a case of Aether. Ever since then he has been off from work.

They headed out the factory and George and the Archdeacon spotted the White Arabian in the field rear up. They decided the horses were jittery about the Aether and moved on to Edgar’s house.

At the house they found an Irish Roman Catholic Priest telling Mrs Inchcliffe that only the Roman Catholic church could perform a proper Exorcism, and she only needed to call him and he’d come and help out. Archdeacon Abbott waited for a minute until he realised that there was someone behind him. The two religious figures had a debate about church politics before the Irish Priest made a retreat back to the inn he was staying at. When he was gone Mrs Inchcliffe invited them in and showed them her husband tied to the bed, ranting and raving. The Professor decided that the words were inappropriate for a young lady and took her away from the room. Edgar stopped ranting and started saying that he was alright and they could untie him. When it was clear that they weren’t going to do it he started ranting again. The Archdeacon decided to get out his Exorcism kit and began to perform the Exorcism. To his surprise it worked and a swirling cloud of sparks came out from the body of Edgar and tried to invade Archdeacon Abbott but was repelled by an inner force inside him. The swirl of sparks got weaker and tried to invade George but was similarly repelled. This time it was so weak that it petered out.

Mrs Inchcliffe thanked Archdeacon Abbott profusely and promised to go to church regularly and donate money to the church. On their way out of the house the group spotted a shortish man wearing Lordly clothes with spiky white-blond hair. The group decided to go over and talk to this odd looking figure and asked him who he was. He said that his name was the Count of St Germain, though he had many names over the years. When asked what was another of his names that he’d had in years past and he replied Cartaphilus.

“You are not working for her then?” He says to them.

“Who” George asks.

“Her name was Meghan, though she goes by many names. You may know her as Guinivere, though in truth she was called Gwenhwyfar.“

The Count was asked how he knew what was going on in the house and he said that it was because he had the sight. He said that the three of them had all been around before were all re-incarnated beings. George had killed Gwenhwyfar in the past. When he was asked if he was re-incarnated he told them that he wasn’t but had been around since before the birth of Christ, at least 1900 years.

The Count looked at Annie and asked her about her Fae blood and who her parents were. She said she didn’t know her parents. The Count pointed to the device in her satchel and she told him that she’d dreamed about making it. He told her that was her inner self communicating with her. He showed her how the device she had made worked by spinning it with fewer and fewer spokes up until it fell over to show the magical potential in the area.
The Archdeacon asked if Gods exists and he replied that yes the Jealous God exists in the Otherworlds. He told the group that they must get on and find the gate they are trying to make to the Otherworlds and stop it.

They asked what the thing was that was in Edgar and the Count replied that it was a Heskra that sought only mindless destruction. Aether he said was a by product of magic. With that he said he had things to do and he disappeared in front of them.

They all confirmed that what they had seen was real before deciding to go and see William Morris. His mother answered the door and was initially hostile as George had told her that Harvey had sent him. The Archdeacon calmed her down a bit and she told them that William had been working all hours and was not eating well. He’d lost a lot of weight, and was currently working at the Aether disposal pits.

The group headed over to the pits and found that William Morris and two others were performing a ritual next to a makeshift stone gateway. Annie tested the magical potential and found that it spun with only 3 spokes up, meaning that it was strong here. The group came up with a makeshift plan to roll a barrel of aether down on the gateway to smash it. The thugs heard them coming but were unable to stop the gateway smashing. The two thugs drew cudgels and headed the group off at the top stairway. William Morris drew a flintlock and followed them. A fight ensued and the Archdeacon and the Professor got injured by the thugs. Annie screamed very loudly hoping that the people at the station half a mile away would hear. William fired his flintlock at George but missed and George began grappling him. As they were getting battered Annie picked up a shovel and joined in. The Archdeacon tried unsuccessfully to cast a quick version of the Exorcism on the obviously possessed men.

Just as things were looking bad the Count appeared and drew a sabre, killing the two thugs easily. When the thugs died the sparkly swirls can out of them and tried to possess members of the group including the Professor who resisted them. As he was about to kill William Morris they group stopped him and persuaded him to let the Archdeacon do the Exorcism properly on him. This time the full ritual worked and a ghostly figure came out of him. The Count said that that was a Garatske that had possessed him. They had weakened the Enchantment that blocked the gateways to the Otherworlds here including the world of the Fae. This was now a high area of magical potential.

The Archdeacon asked whether the power for the Exorcism came from God and the Count told him that no it came from him. Annie wanted to know how to find out who she was, and the Count replied that she should find her parents.

The Count disappeared before a group from the station arrived in response to Annie’s scream. The Archdeacon took control and most of them believed his explanation that the men had been possessed by demons. The police were called and they showed up with a refined Lady with riding boots. She told them she was Lady Anne Blunt from Crabbets Park. She questioned them about what happened and as she was talking she pushed back her hair and the group got the view of a blue tattoo of a horse on the side of her neck.

The group went back to London and the Professor fell asleep on the train. As they got a mile away from Crawley the magical potential had completely gone and the device fell over even on 12 spokes. The Archdeacon had a chat with George about God then got George to go and get drinks whilst he had a private chat with Annie.

The Archdeacon suggested George not go home and come back to Lambeth Palace to stay with him. As they got there a novice Priest approached the Archdeacon. He had been looking for him as he had some bad news to give him. Lady Patience had been killed earlier today.

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