Monday, March 13, 2017

Its Hour Come Round at Last 2.0 - Volume Two: MI-18

September 1915 to June 1916 - The United Kingdom
Dr. John Watson

Following their return from Paris, the Lamplighters, working with Doctor John Watson, began transitioning their organization to the Directorate of Military Intelligence,   While MI-18 would be part of the greater intelligence network, few were to know the true nature of their work.  Since the current cadre along with Dr. Watson were the senior members of the new organization, they sat down to identify the mission of MI-18.

 1.  Much like their predecessors, the group felt that defending the United Kingdom and the World from malevolent monstrous creatures and those who would use said creatures or lore to cause harm to humanity was the primary goal of MI 18.
  • They were still uncertain as to whether the rat-faced creatures represented a hostile threat.  
  • To this end, MI 18 purchased Merriweather's land near Recluver Kent, and has begun the setup of a building in place of the the old house where preparations can be made to enter the caves.  
  • Watson is looking for soldiers who can deal with what will find and then train them in the usage of flamethrowers.  
  • Bertrand spent time at his house in Shropshire understanding and eventually communicating with the Sword of Paracelus.   He soon began calling it the Sword of Fenrir, who despite "false propaganda" was an enemy of the aetheric Horrors. This marked the first usage of the phrase aetheric for the current Lamplighters.  
  • They worried about Bertrand Merriweather's mental health, but Allard and Doctor McKinley weren't much better.

2. With David Watson incapacitated, much of the history, artifacts, and libraries of the Lamplighters could not be found, leaving them with many questions about the secret history of England and those who defended it.
  • They identified the search for artifacts, books of lore, crystal-tech, and the histories and treasures of the Lamplighters as one of the major goals of MI-18.  
  • Allard Vick has helped set up the beginnings of a Library and Basement storage for non-dangerous artifacts at the new headquarters. 
  • When Dr. McKinley is not using it, he stores Der Gerbrachen Tram here.  
  • Lady Margaret Jameson, recruited to MI-18 by Reginald Smythe III, oversees the library and artifacts as Alaard is mostly in Oxford unless in the field.  
  • Lady Margaret also began studying the book, the Magnus, which Smythe bought for her at the Paris auction, and is learning Enochian and Dee's ceremonial magic.
  • Also, Jameson and Smythe began seeing each other socially and are courting.
Lady Margaret Jameson

3. Doctor Thomas McKinley and Alaard Vick both felt MI-18 needed research labs, and Alaard found an abandoned 19th century coal power plant near the house he and his daughter share.
  • Vick is a librarian at Oxford College, and because he revealed much of what he learned to his daughter, then tasked her with research, Dr. Watson found it necessary to bring her in.  The daughter is only a Dependent at this time, so she doesn't operate like an Ally for Alaard.
  • Alaard chose a building for his research with the ankh he purchased in Paris.  Contacting it in a meditative state, the ankh told him it was a servant of Isis and could teach him Kemetic magic. Alaard routinely has his mind filled with visions of the past and has even come to believe he might be a reincarnation of a god or pharaoh.  
  • I built a symbol magic system (with severe minuses) that relies on Thaumatology, Symbol Writing (Kemetic), Ritual Magic (Kemetic).  This permitted Alaard to begin learning symbols - thus far he knows Create and Protection as VH skills capped at the lowest of the previous skills.  He also takes a -5 to the rolls, but that can be reduced to a -4 if an hour is spent meditating before hand. (Meditate skill)
  • He then draws - failure makes the process take longer and a critical failure means he starts over - the symbol on something and activates it later.  The margin of success determines the Damage Resistance.  I am thinking he could receive either bonuses to his roll or to results if he used an additional skill like Calligraphy or even metal working for a longer affect.   
  • The ankh promises to teach him more, but we have already seen some strain on Alaard's mind.
  • Also, McKinley and his research biologist friend at Cambridge identified the blue spore and fungus as being ingenious to Lake Toba on the Island of Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
  • The doctor took over one warehouse of the research facility to grow his own fungi (including those he'd found in medieval France) under laboratory condition.   He noticed odd behaviors among the rats he injected with the blue spores, including their eyes turning blue.
  • McKinley also found, from his readings in Der Gerbrachen Tram, that smoking the spores and meditating could generate the dreamlike states he'd experienced before where he could share thoughts with this fellow Lamplighters even if they were hundreds of miles away.  He had a much harder time with one he didn't know.
  • His experiments with the blue spore, meditation, dreaming, and Der Gerbrachen Tram led him to a vision of the past in which Sherlock Holmes, Reginald Smythe II, Tali's father, and several others were in a glen in England rushing toward a wagon all while avoiding a giant anthropomorphic plant that sliced people in half with its scythe hand.  When the opened the wagon door and saw a man with no skin and no eyes sitting in a chair - very alive - McKinley woke screaming.  
  •  McKinley learned a Precognition advantage called Dream Visions and a linked Mind Reading and Telecommunications advantage called Dream Share.  They only work when he (and if he has a target) is/are dreaming.

4. Smythe and Ponzi felt that one of MI 18's important roles was to Gatekeep information regarding what they are currently calling the Unnatural.
  •  As such, they argued that much information needed to kept from the public.
  • Also, that those who possess such knowledge must be recruited or dealt with by violence, threats, bribes, etc. depending on the person.
  • Beyond, Alaard's project to examine libraries, Ponzi argued the need for a newspaper clippings office to look for any odd stories they needed to investigate.
  • Both Smythe and Ponzi mentioned they would use their different social networks (the elite and the criminal classes) to monitor anything outside the papers or police.
  • Dr. Thomas McKinley
  • Both spent time networking in their social circles.

5. Finally, Watson and Smythe - in agreement - reminded the team that as supporters of the English Crown (whether by birth in the case of Smythe, McKinley, and Merriwether or by adoption in the case of Vick (perhaps reluctantly) and Ponzi.) they had a duty to provide England with a Technological Advantage over their Enemies, current (the Central Powers), and possibly future (everyone else.)
  • They were particularly interested in finding more of the clockwork/crystal tech and hopefully replicating it.  
  • They were also interested in portal technology that could lead them to other worlds or times with technology they could use.

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