Back to London and the Silver Gate this chapter. No real combat, but some tense moments social rp and hiding. Alaard the Librarian does engage in fisticuffs near the end.
Friday, June 17, 1916 - Colcester to London, United Kingdom
That morning, Alaard Vick, Bertrand Merriweather, and Dr. Thomas McKinley returned to London by train where there were met at the station by an agency car and brought back to Headquarters. Smythe was there; the group discussed the events of the past few days.
That night they were invited to attend the meeting of the Order of the Silver Gate with Dr. Call, but for the morning Alaard recommended they meet with the Motspur Park/West Barnes local historian, Barnaby Pritcher, whose address he had located through librarian friends.
McKinley arranged for transportation to visit Pritcher - (Smythe did not make his roll for Ally Nigel, but the doctor made his M.I. 18 Patron Roll). Two army personnel (Privates Weber and Taylor) from the M.I. 18 motorpool drove them. Taylor insisted on bringing mortars but Weber disagreed.
They arrived at the historian Pritcher's home at eleven in the morning. Alaard had the most success convincing Pritcher they were interested in the old man's works. After some tea and an excellent port, Pritcher told them he had copies of his books - long unavailable.
The second quote includes a speech from one the witches: "Do you live in hope to see the King striding the earth? Do you dream of the Fulvid Throne, of joining the flutists who dance there forever? Purify yourselves. The King is Coming."
The final passage is from Whipple and describes the awful scenes of men as monsters beneath the earth.
Checking the directions for the farmhouse, the cadre realize it stood where the current Silver Gate Lodge resided and made notes to explore the basements.
Pritcher warmed them that "devils walked the earth." And that they should be careful. They all nodded and agreed. In the car, Alaard proposed the agency recruit Pritcher as a researcher. The rest agreed.
Friday, June 17, 1916 - evening in Motspur Park, the meeting of the Silver Gate
They arrived in time for supper and began to mingle. McKinley and Vick scanned the libraries and chatted about the occult with some members. Smythe made the acquaintance of John Scott and his second immediately, while Merriweather slipped off with out notice and found his way upstairs.
|The Silver Gate Lodge|
Meanwhile, Bertrand Merriweather snuck upstairs to the second floor where he found a lecture hall with the walls hidden by thick curtains. Examining the walls behind the curtains, he found them plain - except for one door on the opposite end that led to a smoking lounge with water closet and back stairwell leading up to the third floor.
There he found additional paintings by Sabine Landau. The first and second seemed to interact: an English landscape with a strange dark portal opening onto a barren dark land. The second a barren land with dead plants and skeletons opening onto a sunny English day. Another was of a robed individual standing on a barren landscape as a great spiral of stars spun in the sky.
In the center of one room was a two foot tall silver cylinder and another a doll dressed in yellow rags. At the end of the hall, Bertrand found a locked room and proceeded to open it with his sword. Inside he discovered a room with the edges rounded off, a pentagram covered in a silver spiral and three books. He took the books and a voice whispered in his head.. On his return, he decided to move the doll.
Below, the bald servants went wild. They began shoving the guests and pushing their way back up the stairs. Hearing the chaos, Betrand took the doll to a window, opened it, and threw the doll outside. The bald servants began attacking the attendants as some when upstairs and some down. John Scott fled to the back of the Lodge with a tall, built man as most of the guests ran from the building.
Vick, Smythe, and McKinley decided Merriweather may be involved and hid themselves on the second floor until servants had returned from upstairs. Then they followed. Merriweather, emerging from the bathroom, stopped them as they approached the stairs to the third floor.
They debated leaving, but decided to look for the underground that Pritcher had read of to them that very morning. The gaslights were out now and in the distance they heard crying. Pistols out they found their way to the basement and with some searching a set of stairs down into the earth. Merriweather noted that the landscape also changed here - much like in Kent - and they passed eighty feet down through the kind of solid rock that should not exist so close to the surface in the Thames valley.
At the bottom they found alcoves - one with a statue of a piper in rags, another with a small book shelf mostly cleared of books except a hand written volume of some kind, another with a wooden box. Perusing the book, Alaard declared it some kind of manual to create the wooden box which he believed was supposed to open at a distance.
The scuffle saw Alaard subdue the body guard and the others grab John Scott. Realizing they were now in Bristol, England. Smythe contacted Lady Margaret Jameson who arranged for a car and driver to bring them back to a safe house in London.
We haven't yet graduated to rifles, yet already without magical healing the group tends to avoid combat.
Social influence, sneaking, and Occultism tend to dominate. The one combat consisted of Alaard knocking out the bodyguard with a punch, and McKinley stabbing John Scott with a syringe of morphine.
The story continues with Its Hour Come Round at Last 2.4