Episode 6

Episode 6 – City of Delusion

March 6th 1873

Archdeacon Abbott had spent the day in boring meetings in Canterbury with the visiting dignatories of Rome. That afternoon he had a private meeting with one Carinal Albanizzi though he was unsure exactly what it was about. The Cardinal soon made it abundently clear that he was from Opus Dei and that he was hunting Demons with blue markings that had fused themselves to humna souls. Opus Dei had records of them through time and they had occaisionally shown up in France and Prussia. The main concerntration though was in England and they had been searching for a couple here. He said that they had ways of dealing with them, though he said he hadn’t personal experience of it. He wanted Archdeacon Abbott to report any of these blue demons that he found to a loyal member of Opus Dei – a silk trader in London called Luigi.

After the meeting Archdeacon Abbott headed back to London and found the message from George that they had gone down to Badbury Rings. He decided to immediately follow them and took the first train down to Poole. On the train he noticed that he was being followed by someone and so he didn’t go straight to Badbury Rings, but hopped through a church to escape again in a cab leaving his follower standing in the graveyard.

The group began to discuss with the Count what they were going to do next and dismissed the idea of going through the gateway to follow Myrddyn as they would need to break another hole in the protective enchantment of the world. Captain Edington was just starting to explain that he had something else private he had to go and do when he said that he was feeling faint. Then the Captain fell backwards in a faint revealing the gaping wound that he had taken from the Tall Man. With no one else with any medical skill the Count examined and bound Captain Edington’s wound. He said that the wound was mortal. As they had gathered round the Captain though, the group heard a call from down the hill.

“In the name of Queen Victoria I’m afraid you are all under arrest. Step away my lady from those Gentlemen.” The hill had been surrounded by about 20 British Soldiers. The man who had called out was a Captain. A man in a suit and a top hat whispered something to the Captain who then called out.
“I’m terribly sorry my Lady but I’m afraid you are under arrest too.”

Rather sensibly the group decided to surrender to the soldiers and they were taken to the 85th Dorset Regiments barracks in Blandford. On the way they asked what they were charged with and were told murder and possibly also treason. They were lead into a barrack with cell blocks downstairs and one person was put in each cell. Annie was taken first upstairs to meet a lady sat at a desk with a black book in front of her.

She asked Annie who she was and Annie replied that she had been called Deirdre. Annie asked who the woman was. She told Annie that she was currently called Penelope Windthorpe but that she had been called St Hilda. Deirdre (in Annie’s body) recognised the name of the daughter of the man Hereric that she had poisoned in the past. St Hilda request she see Annie’s tattoo and she obliged the woman by revealing it. The woman who had called herself St Hilda made notes in her book. St Hilda said that she did not want revenge on Deirdre and instead wanted her to redeem herself. She suggested that Annie agree to work for her and that way would be working for Britain and redeeming herself. Surprisingly Annie agreed.

Meanwhile the others downstairs found that Harvey Morris was a captive in another cell and was being made to help the lady else they would try his son for treason to the realm.

Samhiem Shelley was next to be brought before the lady but he refused to both give his true name or reveal what they were doing. The lady got some guards to come in and reveal his tattoo which she carefully copied down into her book. The lady who said her name was Penelope Windthorpe said that she wanted to know about his ability to make a sword and shield appear and he told her that it was no secret that he had Fae blood. She then asked about the man who disappeared but he claimed to know nothing of him. Seeing that he was not being co-operative she had him taken down to the cells.

Next she had George Smythington taken up to talk with her. Reluctantly George gave up his name and told her of his tattoo. She said she already had a record of it and that she knew of Rhi’ana from her records. She found a page in her book and made more notes. She asked him about the fact that he was now a man, when in the past he had always been a woman and he told her that he was still somewhat confused about it. She told him that ever since the killing of prominent Aether engineers and the strange appearances in London the government agency had been tracking the goings on. He asked who she reported to and she said that was classified, but ultimately she reported to the Minister for War who reports to the Home Secretary.

Finally she had Lieutenant Day brought in to see her. Again she asked him who he was and he told her that he was Rhys Dyd. She smiled then and told him that Bran would be interested to know that. Roger asked where Bran was and she told him that he’d already met him (the man in the top hat at the Badbury Rings). Roger was keen that Bran did not know where he was and was surprised that he’d agreed to be dominated by her. She said that she had applied the correct levers to make him behave. She asked why they were on Badbury Rings and Roger told her that they had gone to stop Myrddin from rescuing Arthur from the land of the Faerie. She was interested in this information and noted it down. She told Roger that Captain Edington’s wounds were mortal and that he would die from them. He had been wounded by Sir Kai the Tall (from the identified body) whose ability was such that his strikes could not be healed. She knew only two ways he could be healed. The only way that she knew for such a wound to be healed was either by the Faerie Lords or the Cross of St David. The Faerie Lords would need another gateway to be opened which was not desirable and even then may not be persuaded to help. The cross was last seen at the Wedding of Gwyddno Garanhir’s son at Cantre’r Gwaelod, but that was now underwater. She told him if he recovered the cross and gave it to her then she would heal Captain Edington. Roger agreed that he would do that and was taken back downstairs.
Whilst they were talking downstairs the Count appeared. He asked whether they wanted to get out of the cells and Samhiem agreed immediately. Some discussion ensued and after Samhiem recounted the tale of Cantre’r Gwaelod it was agreed that they would go to Carmarthen Bay to recover the Cross and heal Captain Edington. The Count politely asked whether they wanted to get their friend, the man dressed in black who was at the nearby village. They agreed and the Count transported them all to the inn in Blandford.

In the Inn the Count bought everyone drinks with Faerie gold and they discussed what had transpired at both Badbury Rings and Canterbury. Samhiem told the Count that he could not now do what he had promised, but the Count told him to be patient as no doubt they would be bringing Arthur back to Albion.
They decided that they wanted to be away from Blandford as it was too close to the Army camp so the Count teleported them all to Aberystwyth where they got rooms for the night.

March 7th 1873

That night they all dreamed of the Nightmare horse chasing them and trampling all over them as they awoke. George had even more nightmares and woke in a sweat.

The Archdeacon rented a carriage and they headed down to Cardigan Bay until Samhiem said that they were at the right place. Annie told them she could go and look for the city but that she had to do it privately. The others obediently went down the beach, though Archdeacon Abbott followed Lieutenant Day to make sure that he was not peeking.

Annie transformed into an Octopus and followed the Causeway to the city where he found a shimmering barrier and a portal. Going through the portal he found a ruined city and a breathable atmosphere so he turned back into a human. There were a number of crystals outside the city that had an attractive force on them that try to exert their will on Annie to stay there and look at them, but she resisted. On going further into the city a number of Water Men came from the ground and advanced on Annie so she headed back through the portal and transformed into a porpoise, going back to the surface.

She told the others what she had found and they decided that they could all swim down there. Some managed it easier than others but they all got down to the city. George failed to resist the lure of the crystals but Archdeacon Abbott performed a ritual using some of George’s blood to clear his mind.

They went further into the city and were attacked by the Water Men. Samhiem to the fore summoned his sword and shield and held off the early ones. Lieutenant Day borrowed Archdeacon Abbott’s dagger and bravely tried to hit them, but it seemed only Samhiem’s sword could hurt them. In the process both Samhiem and Lieutenant Day were injured with water in their lungs, but they managed to defeat the Water men.

Inside the city they headed for the Palace, looking for the Church in the city. They went up the Bell tower but could see no church from the top, so they continued searching the Palace. In the main Palace room they found the Wedding feast chamber with a half dying man still on the throne clutching the cross.
“So has Gwydion sent more of you here to steal the Cross from me?” It seemed the Swineherd Gwydion had sent men in some 10-15 years ago and they had been killed by the Water Men at the entrance. The group talked to the man and told him they were not sent by Gwydion but that they needed the cross to save their friend. The man, whom they ultimately found out was called Gethryn, refused to listen and told them that if they took the cross from him that he would die. They told him that he could bring the cross outside with him but he said that he could not cross the threshold of the city as leaving the area of his half death would break the link he had with life.

Archdeacon Abbott questioned whether he had a woad tattoo which he affirmed he did. The Archdeacon claimed that by dying Gethryn would be reborn anew. He then accused them of being sent by Drystan the trickster to try and trick him out of the cross and he got angry. He summoned up four more larger Water Men.

More attempts to persuade him to release the cross only angered him further and he vowed to cling on to life to try and gain more power. Annie told them that she had an idea but advised them they should start to move away as the Water Men advanced.

Annie suddenly disappeared then reappeared in front of Gethryn. She then disappeared together with the man on the throne. The Water Men fizzled into the ground. The group picked up some treaure from around the throne including a seemingly magical dagger, a gold crown and some golden coins.

Annie then appeared on the beach and Gethyrn started to turn to dust. All was left was the cross and a ring that was on Gethryn’s finger that Annie pocketed as she sensed it was magical. She then popped back to the Wedding Feast room to tell the others she was alright.

The others swam back to the beach as Annie used her teleport ability. Samhiem holding the cross felt its healing power (1 hp per hour) and wanted to keep it for 13 hours to heal up. Some people wanted to keep the cross for themselves, but Annie persuaded them they had to return it to heal up Captain Edington.
Annie therefore teleported back to Blandford Camp whilst the others took the train back to London. She appeared in Penelope Windthorpe’s office which was empty. She took her leisure reading the black book whilst she waited for Penelope to return. When she did they took the cross downstairs to the cells where Annie found Captain Edington made of stone. Captain Edington then became flesh again and was given the cross to start healing up.

Annie then teleported back to the hotel in Poole; the Professor was startled by her sudden arrival. He asked her where she had been, and how she could do that. However she told him that he didn’t want to know. He in turn told her that she would need to tell him later in a stern voice and that they would pay the bill and travel back to London.

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