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June, 52 AD
Birth of Iulia Alpina, the Seer, to Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus, the Roman Procurator who rebuilt Londinium after Boudica's rebellion had burned it to ash
July, 64 AD
Iulia Alpina is Embraced by Skade, the progenitor of House Skade, while on a visit to Rome. A few days later, the Great Fire of Rome breaks out
Birth of Matilda de Bray, future Sanctified Archbishop of York
Birth of Simon Mercadier, future Sanctified Archbishop of London
Birth of Robert de Courcey, future Sanctified Sheriff of London
Embrace of Simon Mercadier
Embrace of Robert de Courcey
Simon Mercadier and Robert de Courcey stage a coup and sieze power over the London Sanctified
Matthew Wynter, a privateer Captain, seizes Aztec loot from a Spanish treasure ship which contains an Atlantean grimoire, hereafter referred to as "Wynter Grimoire". The Grimoire contains a spell for summoning a dangerous spirit entity identified by the Aztecs with their war god, Huitzilopochtli
A group of Mages in London discover a text written by Dr. John Dee, Elizabeth I's astrologer, detailing a summoning ritual which calls up an Abyssal spirit that feeds on fear. They plan to call up the creature and use it against London's ruling vampires, but Mercadier's enforcers, the so-called "Milvian Legion", kill them before they get the chance
9th January 1625
Thomas Wyncham is born to a wealthy London merchant family
21st October 1639
Thomas Wyncham is Embraced by Simon Mercadier, the Sanctified Archbishop of London
The Mage conspiracy which will become the Bosworth Legacy calls up the Phobovore, which wipes out Mercadier's Milvian Legion. They almost lose control of the monster they've summoned and begin an ongoing struggle to keep it contained - and useful in the continuing fight against Mercadier
Thomas Wyncham discovers that Mercadier was responsible for the death of his father and brothers when he finds his father's seal-ring in the personal quarters of Walter Bozan, one of the Archbishop's lieutenants. Unknown to him, the ring was left there for him to find by Matilda de Bray, his tutor in Theban Sorcery and Mercadier's rival. Wyncham begins to work in secret against his sire
Thomas Wyncham makes his first Kindred kill, a Sanctified Morbus
The Invictus start to make their first moves to oust Mercadier from London. Wyncham joins their conspiracy, along with the Eagle's childe, Hugh Marlowe, and the Thorned Wreath knight, Jonathon Clavain
Thomas Wyncham meets the Mastigos Mage, Harry Lynton. Their alliance, tentative at first, will eventually evolve into the Temple
The Restoration of Charles II. The grandson of the privateer Captain who siezed the Aztec treasure in the 1590s, also called Matthew, flees to Massachusetts to avoid having head chopped off for involvement in Cromwell's government.
2nd September 1666
The Great Fire of London begins. It will destroy a large swathe of London over the next few days, bringing Final Death to most of the Sanctified Kindred
4th September 1666
St Paul's Cathedral burns in the Great Fire, destroying Archbishop Mercadier's Haven, which is concealed beneath it. James Drake, aka "Sicarius", a mortal who served as the chief torturer to Simon Mercadier, the Lancea Sanctum Archbishop of London, is ripped to pieces by a mob of his victims' families in the churchyard of the burning Cathedral, while Thomas Wyncham looks on. Wyncham then assasinates his sire with the aid of two fellow Temple members, Elizabeth Hawthorne (a Mage) and Stephen Eswy (an Uratha) who are posing as his ghouls. He escapes with his sire's treasury
5th September 1666
The Great Fire of London comes to an end. In the next few months, Hugh Marlowe becomes the new Invictus Prince of London. Wyncham joins the Invictus and is appointed Marlowe's Seneschal
Lisette, the third and youngest of Dracula's "brides", arrives in London and begins to establish an Ordo Dracul presence in the city; Thomas Wyncham is one of her earliest recruits, although he remains a member of the Invictus
Wyncham makes Margaret Carter, aka "Mother Clap" and "Mother", his first ghoul
Wyncham becomes one of the Sworn of the Mysteries of the Ordo Dracul
Helen Douglas, a prostitute and poisoner, is killed by mob in Edinburgh
Hunters in Massachusetts attempt to kill the last known member of the Wynter family. Rather than fight, Wynter allows them to believe they have succeeded, faking his own death from a broken neck after a fall from a horse. The Hunters burn down his home a few days later, but Wynter has already fled to England
Wynter arrives in London posing as "Edgar Griffen", a Silver Ladder Mage who has fled America because of his pro-British sympathies
The bodies of a dozen labourers, who Wynter/Griffen has sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli, are found on one of his ships. The Guardians of the Veil begin an investigation into his affairs
Alan Castel, the Mage assigned by the Consilium to investigate Griffen, vanishes under quote-unquote "mysterious" circumstances
Alfred Goodridge, another Mage investigator, finds Alan Castel's body. Castel has been killed by magic, another sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli. Griffen's house burns down before the Consilium can move against him. He is presumed killed, although his body never recovered. In reality, he has simply fled London and returned to America. A few of his papers are recovered papers from the ashes, giving the Consilium its first and so far only look at the distinctive "dialect" of Atlantean High Speech used in the Aztec Grimoire
Richard Bosworth gives a performance at the Palace Theatre. The theatre manager suffers a fatal heart attack through contact with an Abyssal entity which Bosworth carries within him
The Mithraeum Club, a Victorian occult society specializing in summoning ghosts, is founded by Sir Leighton Woodrow, a Foreign Office notable
Kate Shaw's manager, Francis Bosworth, is arrested and jailed for using her money to finance under-age brothels. Kate's career is ruined.
A Temple Mage, Philip Archer, is asked by the Consilium Council to arrange for Bosworth to be rescued. Ralph Treganan is asked to provide a safe-house for him in Southampton. Six months later, Bosworth drops dead, directly after the birth of his son
The Mithraeum Club is voluntarily disbanded on orders of founder, Sir Leighton Woodrow, after an experiment goes wrong and kills an innocent victim
Harold Griffiths, a porter at the British Museum, steals a valuable alchemical text from Skade's Great Library. He murders a number of people in alchemical experiments inspired by the text. De Molay, the Mage Herald to the Kindred, alerts the Temple to the murders. Leon, the Hand of Skade, informs the Temple of the theft from the Great Library, and the Temple agrees to help House Skade hunt down the man responsible. De Molay has already narrowed the search down to a section of the East End docks
Leon points out that the prostitutes and labourers must have worked in a particular part of the docks, which would help to narrow down the search considerably.
Tom, who occasionally hunts in the East End docks, volunteers to examine the bodies in the morgue to see if he recognizes any of them. He knows one of the prostitutes, a woman known as "Molly", and one of the labourers, who worked at an import-export business called Caspian Ventures.
Leon suggests that Tom act as bait for whoever is kidnapping the victims. Tom agrees and after several false starts, is abducted by Nigel Greville, son of a prominent explorer affiliated with the British Museum, Sir Everard Greville. Greville takes Tom back to the warehouse which he and Griffiths are using as a base. Conversation overheard by Tom reveals that Greville murdered his father and has been financing Griffiths' experiments.
House Skade attacks the warehouse, capturing Griffiths, who they later execute. Greville has already left the warehouse by the time House Skade arrives and although subsequently hunted, is never found.
Unknown assailants later capture Griffiths' dead body as House Skade's servants are removing it for burial
Dr. Mathias Galt (Merlin), a former member of Mithraeum Club, founds Wayland's Smithy, a research group attempting to raise zombies to face trench warfare. Group based at Carnac hospital, France. The researches are partially based on ancient Babylonian religious rituals
The Battle of the Somme takes place. Sicarius, Helen Douglas, Samuel Ashby and others break free from hell. Merlin is transformed into an immortal zombie/spirit being when the breakout causes a massive backlash in one of the Smithy's magical experiments.
Sicarius, who broke free from Hell in the middle of the Somme battlefield, is brought to Carnac for treatment. As he recovers from his wounds, his fevered ravings are believed by the Smithy's researchers to be memories channelled from ghosts, rather than his own memories
Using information gleaned from Sicarius' fevered ramblings, Wayland's Smithy unearths and captures Robert de Courcey
Robert de Courcey Embraces Morganna and begins to take over Wayland's Smithy
Sicarius and Morganna lead a revolt against de Courcey's takeover. Carnac Hospital is partially burned down; there are many casualties, including most of the members of Wayland's Smithy
Sicarius and Morganna found an organization they call "Asylum". Although Morganna believes that its purpose is simply to protect them from any survivors of Wayland's Smithy, including de Courcey, its true purpose is to find a way to rescue a soul from Hell, therefore ensuring that the escapees will not be condemned to remain there if they are ever killed again. Following the direction of Merlin's researches, Sicarius establishes himself as an archaeologist specializing in ancient Babylon. He founds JN Abbott, Ltd to assist in his research and provide funding for Asylum
Workmen excavating remains of Wynter family residence in Massachusetts discover a hidden vault containing Wynter Grimoire and other papers. These are purchased by Gallowfield College
Two Gallowfield College students, Thomas Payne and Christian Hobbes, research the Wynter Grimoire. Both die shortly thereafter when Payne suffers an alleged massive heart attack that leads to him losing control of their car . In reality, they are sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli by Wynter. A newspaper photo of the funeral shows Wynter in attendance.
House Skade purchases Wynter Grimoire from Gallowfield College
Sicarius fakes his own death but continues to run JN Abbott Ltd from behind the scenes
The Mekhet Carthian researcher, Poet, is recruited by the Carthian/Crone conspiracy to overthrow Prince Hugh Marlowe. The conspiracy ask him to recover a ghoul, recently arrived in the city, who is supposedly carrying vital information for Prince Marlowe.
The ghoul is in fact James Benedict, an agent of the Prince of Boston, who is gifted with supernatural powers of perception including an unerring ability to separate truth from falsehood. Coincidentally, he's a gifted engineer, a member of the Harvard faculty, and a colleague of Professor Isabelle Farnsworth, the Herald to the Uratha.
Isabelle Farnsworth is an engineer who is also an ace pilot under her shadow name of "Tempest Fugue". She receives a letter from Benedict asking to meet her when he arrives in London. Going to his address, she sees a couple of Nosferatu watching it, and trails them back to where the conspiracy to unseat Marlowe has been meeting.
Benedict senses Marlowe's Final Death. He reveals that Marlowe suspected that he was being driven insane by an outside force, and wanted Benedict to investigate. Benedict doesn't know who the Prince thought was responsible, beyond the fact that Benedict's technical and engineering skills were needed for him to be able to infiltrate the guilty parties.
The Carthians mount their coup. A casualty of the bombing is David Latimer, a Kindred Temple member; Katherine Shaw is nominated to replace him. A Temple Mage, Arthur Fergusson, is asked to remove anything compromising from personal effects recovered from the rubble of Latimer's Haven, but before he can do so, the site is searched by a group of researchers from Wayland's Smithy, posing as Home Office agents and personally led by Merlin. In the event, the Smithy's investigators find nothing of interest. The Kindred fail to trace Merlin or his men.
Arthur Fergusson researches Wynter Grimoire in House Skade's Great Library. He dies of an alleged heart attack shortly thereafter, in reality sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli by Wynter
Helen Douglas works with the Gestapo in medical experiments in Eastern Europe. She meets an SS bureaucrat there who will eventually be Embraced into Clan Nosferatu and adopt the name "Hans Schmidt"
Helen Douglas founds Lynx Secure Transit, using money inherited from her (murdered) husband, under the alias of Mrs Helen Felsham, nee Campbell
Dr. Keith Herber founds Herber Medical
Sidney Ravensworth and Alex Styles (who will later become the Mastigos member of the Consilium Council), participate in past-life hypnotic regression experiments conducted by Dr. Vanessa Beckworth at Imperial College, London. Alex Awakens under the hypnosis, and Ravensworth starts to experience intensely vivid visions of ancient Constantinople which will continue to haunt his dreams for decades afterwards
Helen Douglas joins Herber Medical
Miss Helen Douglas becomes Dr. Herber's secretary. She arranges for Dr. Herber's family to be murdered, apparently in burglary gone wrong
Saddam Hussein takes power in Iraq, disrupting Asylum's access to the ancient Babylonian sites which it is still researching
Helen Douglas marries Dr. Herber
Wynter, operating under the alias "Colonel George Green", leads a mercenary company involved in the Balkan Wars
Herber Medical diversifies into biotechnologies, giving Asylum the technical base they need to create germ warfare agents
Andrew Smith, "Mr. Lucian", almost kills Adam Dane on the night of Dane's Awakening. Dane survives and is recruited by the Guardians of the Veil, taking the shadow name "Dyggvi"
Lucian is killed by Stuart Taylor, who is "rewarded" for his efforts with the Embrace
Dr. Herber dies; Helen Douglas takes over Herber Medical
Wynter's / "Colonel George Green's" mercenary company merges with a larger American company whose CEO drops dead of heart failure six months later, sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli
Saddam Husein is overthrown. The American de-Baathification of Iraq begins
A group of former Iraqi historians start selling the nation's historic treasures on black market. Some of the antiquities end up in London, channelled through Mick Nairne (a minor Invictus Kindred and fence). The details of the pick-ups are passed to Nairne through instructions implanted through Mind magic in the subconscious of one of his ghouls.
A group of American soldiers obtain Nergal Tablets - clay tablets holding spells associated with the Babylonian god Nergal - after a firefight with some insurgents in Iraq. On their return to America, they put the tablets up for sale on the black market
Sicarius is sighted in the company of various hate groups in periphery of Wayland's Smithy operations
The Temple meets. They agree to help Van Lutyens secure a monopoly on the illicit import of various historical artefacts being smuggled into Britain from Iraq. The artefacts include a few dangerous magical items which the Consilium wants to take out of circulation, and giving Van Lutyens his monopoly means they can screen all his shipments for anything threatening. Thomas Wyncham asks the Temple for help tracking down a mysterious arsonist who's been setting fire to Lancea Sanctum Havens by unknown supernatural means.
Friday, 1st February 2008
In Marble, Colorado, Sicarius, operating under the alias "James Carter" buys the Nergal Tablets from the soldiers who put them up for sale. An Uratha named Ben Drake tries to interfere with the sale, and is sacrificed to Huitzilopochtli by Wynter. Sicarius and Wynter return to England in some haste, before the local Uratha show up looking for revenge.
Monday, 4th February 2008
Van Lutyens "persuades" a minor fence named Trevor Mead to reveal that the Iraqi antiquities which he has been fencing were supplied by a man named Mick Nairne. Nairne appears to be obtaining the antiquities from a source unknown to Van Lutyens. Van Lutyens recognizes Nairne's name as that of a Kindred. He is not, however, aware that Nairne's merchandise is being sold exclusively to Merlin by Mead.
Mead informs Merlin that he has give Van Lutyens Nairne's name. Merlin sends an agent to seduce Caitlin Quinn, Nairne's ghoul. The intent is to drug both Quinn and Glen Lowell, Nairne's other ghoul, and kidnap Nairne himself during the day while the two ghouls are unconscious. Merlin plans to interrogate Nairne to discover where he is obtaining the illicit Iraqi antiquities, and at the same time deprive the Kindred of the opportunity to question him on the subject. When the attempt is made, however, Nairne discovers that his ghouls have been drugged. He becomes violent, and Merlin's agent is forced to incinerate him in self-defense, using pyrokinesis. Quinn and Lowell suffer burns in the altercation, and Merlin arranges for them to be taken to Siege Perilous, the main headquarters of Wayland's Smithy, for treatment.
Wednesday, 6th February 2008
Dr Stella Grey, (Antonia), sees a vision of Old St. Paul's Cathedral burning down during the Great Fire in 1666. She senses an evil consciousness of unknown type that was present during the disaster. Later that same morning, Adam Dane (Dyggvi), brings her a mundane historical artefact, an ancient Eygptian bowl recently smuggled in from Iraq, for valuation. Even though it was illicitly imported from Iraq just a few days previously, she senses that it has a strong sympathetic connection both to London and to the consciousness she felt during her vision. She also senses that the unknown consciousness is still present in modern-day London.
Stella and Dyggvi research the origins of the bowl and discover that it was brought back as loot from the Crusades, kept in England for centuries, and then given to an Iraqi museum by a historian named JN Abbott in 1932. They discover that Dr. Abbott supposedly died in 1937, giving them their first hint of the existence of Sicarius. Stella agrees to let Thomas Wyncham speak with her about her vision of the Great Fire.
Van Lutyens informs the Temple of Nairne's involvement with smuggling Iraqi antiquities. The Temple try to contact Nairne, both to discover who his supplier is and persuade him to funnel his merchandise through Van Lutyens' organization. With Nairne dead and his two ghouls in Merlin's hands, the attempt is obviously unsuccessful. Wyncham asks Nathaniel Donatein to go to Nairne's Haven in Epping, on the outskirts of London, to investigate his disappearance. Donatein finds Nairne's haven in good order, but deserted, and finds evidence of Nairne himself having been burned to death.
Donatein goes to the Confessions nightclub in London's docklands to report his findings to the Temple. The Temple, not knowing of Merlin's existence or relationship with Mead, concludes that Mead must have had a spy in his ranks. They speculate that when Van Lutyens took over Mead's Iraq operation, the spy either killed Nairne to stop him from talking, or arranged for someone else to do so. The Temple decide to interrogate Mead in an attempt to discover the identity of the spy.
Dyggvi has brought Stella to Confessions to speak to Wyncham, and introduces her after the Temple has agreed what to do about Mead.
Wyncham knew James Abbott very slightly. He admits that Abbott was the spitting image of Sicarius, something Wyncham assumed was a coincidence at the time. However, since Stella sensed the same malignant presence both from the Cathedral at the time of the Great Fire, and the Egyptian bowl (which was connected to Abbott), the Temple decides to investigate the possibility that Abbott and Sicarius might be one and the same, and that Sicarius might still be walking around present-day London. Van Lutyens suggests that Stella be involved in the investigation, despite Wyncham' concerns for her safety.
Donatein announces the imminent Summit of House Skade and resumption by Triumvir Clavain of his Temple seat. The Temple decide to take the opportunity to consult with their own communities about who should look into Sicarius' possible return, and to meet again to welcome Clavain back and agree their next move regarding Sicarius.
After the Temple leave the Confessions club, a young Kindred wanders in and encounters Abbe François Simonet du Coulmier. The youngster seems to have no idea of what he is. François and the Morganna talk to him and discover that his name is Ben Foster. He's a soldier recently returned from Afghanistan who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour a few weeks previously. Out on a nostalgic "farewell" tour of his old drinking haunts, he was apparently jumped and Embraced by an unknown Kindred. François and Morganna explain to him what he's become, and guide him through his first feeding. Ben doesn't recall much about his sire, but he remembers that it was a male Kindred, young-looking, pretty, and extraordinarily fast., with hair that looked hacked about instead of styled. Morganna recognizes this as a description of her own sire. She admits to François that Carnac Hospital, the First World War hospital where she worked as a nurse - and which was preyed upon by her sire - partially burned down with the loss of many lives when Morganna tried to stop her sire's predation and misjudged the ferocity of his resistance. Morganna fled with several survivors. She tells François that she has just telephoned one of her fellow survivors, who is still with her, and who has suggested that her sire has tracked her down and Embraced Ben as a way of sending her a warning - or a threat. Morganna checks Ben's Facebook entry to confirm that he really is as young and inexperienced as he seems - which he is. She and François notify the Council of Ben's Embrace. Within a couple of hours, Collier, Robert Knox, and Rebecca Harper arrive at the Club. They explain the basic rules of Kindred society to Ben. Ben helps Rebecca put together a photofit of his sire, and Morganna confirms it is, indeed, the same Kindred who Embraced her.
Although Foster's story about the brain tumour is true, he is in reality an agent of Wayland's Smithy, sent to infliltrate and investigate the Kindred
Wyncham goes with Donatein to the British Museum, to discuss the possibility of Sicarius' return with Triumvirs Ilia Volyova and Jonathan Clavain. They ask him for his political support for an unspecified future Council vote in exchange for House Skade's assistance with the Sicarius investigation. He agrees - with some careful caveats. The Triumvirs give Wyncham three nights to demonstrate that the Sicarius matter may be worthy of further attention.
Wyncham and Triumvir Ilia Volyova argue over the stability of the Council system and the Invictus' lack of representation at Council level. Wyncham offers Volyova a bargain; if she will cast her vote for Skade to maintain its neutrality and not oppose the current regime, he will attempt to get at least one Invictus member appointed to the Council. Ilia refuses to "sell" her Council vote but agrees to give his proposal serious consideration. Wyncham agrees to present the proposition to the full House when Triumvir Clepsydra awakens.
Dyggvi, Pales and Stella go to Canary Wharf, where the Consilium's ruling Council is in session. Following pressure from the Silver Ladder, the Council has decided to expand the number of Temple Heralds from two to five, one for each Order of the Pentacle. They offer Antonia the position of Mysterium Herald for at least the duration of the Sicarius investigation. She accepts, provisionally and a little reluctantly.
Thursday, 7th February 2008
August Podin, Drake's packmate and mentor, discovers a reference to Carter and JN Abbott in Drake's email, and goes to London in search of justice and answers. He is met at Heathrow by Harry Marchment, Van Lutyens' Beta. Harry takes August to Van Lutyens' office, where August sees a corporate brochure for JN Abbott Ltd on Van Lutyens' desk. Van Lutyens reveals the Temple's interest in JN Abbott Ltd, and August tells Harry and Van Lutyens about his packmate's death. Van Lutyens offers August a place in the Temple's investigation on JN Abbott.
Harry takes August back to her apartment in Spitalfields, and introduces him to Narinder Jalil, the Alpha of the Koh-I-Nor pack that shares Spitalfields with the Treasure Bearers.
Dyggvi, Pales and Stella decide to visit Drake's Fell, the village where JN Abbott supposedly died, to see if there is any actual evidence that he did so. They find that Abbott's old house is now a museum attached to the local school, funded by his firm in London. They visit it, and are given a tour by Elspeth Golightly, the former headmistress of the local school and now a trustee of the museum. The museum has some very sophisticated computer-simulated displays, including a recreation of Jacobean London. The Mages notice that one of the animated characters in the Jacobean London simulation looks exactly like Thomas Wyncham. Speaking to Peter Cook, one of the software developers, they discover that the faces in the simulation are created in JN Abbott's art department, which is headed by a man named Jim Carter. Carter is in his sixties and rarely visits the London office of the company, instead telecommuting from his home near Hadrian's Wall. Cook gives the Mages a DVD containing the Jacobean London simulation. He suggests that given Stella's academic background, Carter might be interested in working with her on one of the company's projects.
Elspeth Golightly knew James Abbott slightly when she was a girl. He was a popular and generous local figure who bought the house after its owner, the last of the Drake family of local squires, was killed in the Great War. His one quirk was that he had a profound fear of knives, allegedly due to his experiences in the war.
Visiting Abbott's grave a little later, the Mages discover that the "body" in the coffin is in fact made of sandbags sewn into roughly humanoid shape.
Back in London, Katherine Shaw sees Merlin walking out of an evening performance at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, apparently unchanged despite the passage of more than sixty years. She overhears part of a mobile phone conversation in which he identifies himself as Merlin, and implicitly admits his involvement in Nairne's Final Death. He also mentions "Archive Four" and "Asylum" in connection with Nairne, but drives off before Kate can overhear more.
Kate receives a text message from Wyncham, asking her to meet him at his Holborn offices. She arrives to find Wyncham and Donatein already there. Wyncham asks for her help in uncovering some indication of Sicarius' presence within the three-night limit he's been given by House Skade. Specifically, he wants her to have her siblings in Edinburgh find out who presently owns JN Abbott, Ltd.
A little later, Pales, Dyggvi and Antonia join them at Wyncham's offices, to discuss what they have discovered at Drake's Fell. Gareth Jones arrives as well, to represent the Uratha Polis. Wyncham looks at the DVD and recognizes the faces of not only Simon Mercadier, but several members of his High Synod (Primogen Council). One of them, the Sheriff Robert de Courcey, is dressed in Archbishop's robes rather than those of a High Synod member. This is the only inconsistency which Wyncham can see on the DVD. Robert de Courcey was also the only member of the High Synod whose Final Death wasn't witnessed by Wyncham or his allies.
Stella suggests that, even if the essence of Sicarius has returned in some form, the essentially beneficial actions of JN Abbott may indicate that he is seeking redemption. Wyncham is skeptical. Stella suggests that she infiltrate JN Abbott to find out more about the company, especially Jim Carter.
Donatein points out that there may be a connection between Nairne / Mead, and JN Abbott. In which case, Mead's life could be in danger. Wyncham suggests that, since the Temple were planning to interrogate Mead anyway, they should take him into "protective custody" immediately
Katherine recognizes Narine's name from the brief snatch of conversation she overheard from Merlin. When she relates what she heard, the Temple theorizes that Merlin and Abbott - two men who should be dead, but who are or might be still walking around - may be linked, particularly since Abbott was interested in Iraq and Merlin is linked to Nairne, who was importing Iraqi antiquities. Since Nairne was apparently killed by fire, Wyncham suggests that Merlin may also be linked to the mysterious arson attacks which the Temple discussed in November. Gareth speculates that if Abbott is Sicarius, he's sending Merlin after the Lancea Sanctum as revenge for Mercadier sacrificing him (Sicarius) to the mob. Wyncham points out that if so, it's odd that there have been no Lancea Sanctum fatalities.
Stella and Pales leave, and Donatein, Dyggvi and Gareth Jones go to Mead's house in Perivale. Donatein catches a flicker of movement in the darkened window of a house directly opposite Mead's. He bursts into the house and surprises two men in an upstairs bedroom. They have a variety of video and camera equipment trained on Mead's house. They identify themselves as Customs & Excise agents when the three Temple members overpower them. One of them has managed to radio for backup, which is now on the way.
Donatein renders the two men unconscious and then goes to get Mead. Dyggvi uses magic to destroy the video recording equipment, and then he and Gareth set fire to the front room of the house on their way out. They stow the unconscious Customs agents in the trunk of their car.
Mead seems annoyed but unsurprised at being awoken. He appears to think that Donatein is working for someone called "Ambrose", who apparently has some sort of hold over Mead, until he hears the police sirens when they get outside. Dyggvi drives them a short distance and then parks in an unobtrusive side street. The three Temple members watch as several police cars drive past, headed for Mead's street.
Donatein decides to distract the police, giving Dyggvi and Gareth a chance to get Mead and the two Customs officers back to the British Museum. Heading back towards Mead's house, he sees Merlin's Rolls-Royce pull up, and overhears a conversation between Merlin and the Superintendent directing the police operation. From this, he learns that the "Mr. Ambrose" mentioned by Mead is in fact Merlin, that Merlin was also behind the covert surveillance of Mead's house, and the two Customs men didn't know what they were really working on. Merlin gets back into his Rolls and prepares to drive off. He tells someone on his mobile phone that he wishes to consult "Archive Four" as soon as he returns.
Donatein fires a single shot to divert the attention of the police. It succeeds - the Superintendent calls the surrounding police in for backup, leaving to coast clear for Gareth and Dyggvi to get away. Merlin returns to the scene and heads in Donatein's general direction, seemingly offering himself as a target and unconcerned with the possibility of further gunplay. As he gets closer, Donatein can see he isn't breathing.
Merlin fails to find Donatein, but does speak out loud to him, gambling he's somewhere nearby, but concealed. He tells Donatein that "we" were responsible for Nairne's death, but it was an accident, and that Mead and the two Customs men know nothing useful. He also admits that Nairne's ghouls are alive, though suffering from burns, and suggests that he (Merlin) might be able to arrange a prisoner swap if Mead and the Customs agents are not harmed. He gives a contact number where he can be reached.
Back in his office in Holborn, Wyncham phones Rebecca Harper to ask her to keep a look out for Merlin. He tells her that he was seen getting into a black Rolls-Royce outside the Theatre Royal. She tells Wyncham that Ben's suspected sire was spotted on CCTV getting into a black Rolls-Royce about half an hour after Ben's Embrace. When she gives Wyncham the description and photofit of Ben's sire, Wyncham recognizes it as de Courcey. Wyncham and Katherine meet François and Rebecca Harper at Confessions to discuss what to do next. The Sheriff has managed to identify the owner of the Rolls Royce as Ashford Contracting, a major construction company involved in building the London Olympic facilities, but the only odd thing about them is that they seem to be spending a disproportionate amount of their corporate hospitality budget at the Theatre Royal. Kate and François decide to spend some time at the Theatre Royal, investigating.
Dyggvi and Gareth get Mead and the two Customs agents back to the Triumvirs at the British Museum. Wyncham, and eventually, Nathaniel, join them there. Wyncham says he'll call a Small Court to discuss what to do about Merlin, and Dyggvi and Gareth agree that they will need to refer to their own respective leaderships. Wyncham suggests that they three captives should not be released immediately if they can be used as exchange hostages to get Nairne's ghouls back.
Ilia Volyova suggests that the Temple release Mead, let word leak out that Mead has betrayed Merlin, and ambush Merlin or his agents when the arrive to punish Mead for the indiscretion. Wyncham points out that if Merlin was telling the truth about Mead not knowing anything of value, he's likely to spot the ruse, but agrees it's worth a try. He suggests that they contact Merlin to agree a deal in principle, which Dyggvi is able to do without fear of the call being traced thanks to his magically warded mobile phone.
Under interrogation, Mead reveals that he was an Army Sergeant who was arrested for dealing drugs to his fellow troops. Merlin - aka "Mr. Ambrose" - arranged for the charges to be dropped in exchange for unspecified future services. When Nairne approached Mead about disposing of some stolen Iraqi antiquities, Ambrose contacted Mead and insisted on becoming the sole buyer for the smuggled items.
Wyncham expresses concern that Merlin seems to be connected to so many Government departments - first Customs and Excise, now the Ministry of Defence Illia points out that this also gives the Kindred connections they can trace back to him.
Donatein phones Merlin to confirm that a prisoner exchange might be possible. Merlin sends a photograph proving that Nairne's ghouls are still alive. Donatein tells Merlin that his superiors will agree to exchange Nairne's ghouls for the two Customs agents, but that Mead will "cost" extra. Merlin asks the price which Donatein has in mind. Donatein asks that Merlin bring the two girls who were sharing Mead's bed for a "chat" with a friend of his (intending that Sebastion, the friend in question, will wipe their memories of Donatein's appearance). Merlin agrees provided that Donatein is willing to guarantee that neither girl will be harmed, either physically or mentally.
Stella receives a couriered communication from Wyncham, supplying her with a photofit picture of Merlin and a request that she look into Carnac hospital as part of her research. She studies JN Abbott's social circles at the Victoria and Albert Museum and finds a reference to a "Miss Faye Morgaine", along with a sketch, in the private journals of Donald Etherington, the mortal who got Abbott started as an antique dealer. She finds a photograph taken at Carnac hospital in 1916. It shows Miss Morgaine, along with a short, slight, bald doctor who closely resembles Merlin.
Friday, 8th February 2008
Arriving at J.N. Abbott, Stella is interviewed by Professor Alexander Duncan, the head of VR projects, who is intrigued by her interest in Abbott and his company, and interested in hiring her. During a tour, she sees James Carter on a monitor, attending a webcam conference, and notes that he might be Abbott is a good disguise. Carter says he'll be coming to London the next day, and hopes to meet Stella.
Meeting with Kate later, Pales and Dyggvi suggest that they consult the Hierarch and agree the Mage response to the situation at JN Abbott before the Kindred awaken. Dyggvi relates the prospective deal with Merlin to Stella. He tells her that the Consilium Council met in emergency session that morning, and agreed the deal. Van Lutyens has also secured the Uratha's agreement to the deal after talking to the other pack Alphas.
Gareth Jones and August join the meeting. After some discussion, August shows Stella his airport security photograph. Stella recognizes the man in the photograph as James Neville Abbott.
That evening, Kate and François visit the Theatre Royal. Wyncham sends François a copy of Stella's research. "Miss Faye Morgaine" is in fact Morganna, and Wyncham includes a note asking François to speak with her and find out what she knows.
Kate's rats report that a small group of men, including one who seems to have no scent, have recently been doing something in the cellar of the theatre. Kate asks George, her favourite rat, to check the cellar.
Just before the performance starts, Merlin takes a set in the box opposite Kate, accompanied by a man he addresses as "Sir Frederick", and who appears to be Merlin's superior. Sir Frederick is not pleased about a "bloody fiasco" which has left Mead and two Customs agents in the hands of what he calls the "Huldre" and made it necessary to trade two high-value prisoners for them.
Merlin points out that he is operating in the dark, only recently confirmed that Abbott is still alive, and doesn't know for certain that these particular "Huldre" are connected to something called "Asylum". He also comments that the information he's getting from "Archive Four" is three centuries out of date.
Sir Frederick refers to Merlin as being part of an organization called "Wayland's Smithy", which he says was mostly slaughtered in 1917. Merlin replies that the present organization has learned from those mistakes.
Thomas Wyncham meets Eleanor Verne. Eleanor has been conducting secret experiments on cancer patients, trying to identify the biochemical changes caused by ghouldom and figure out a way to reproduce them artificially as a way of keeping cancer in check. Wyncham points out that the experiments are a serious threat to the Masquerade, but makes Verne an offer. In exchange for allowing him to monitor her work, he will teach her the Theban sorcery rite known as the Vitae Reliquary, which will allow her to secretly ghoul her test subjects without the emotionally warping effects of the Vinculum. He later admits to Nick, his driver, ghoul and confidante, that this is a calculated ruse. By giving Verne a way around the Vinculum, he will provide her with the means to expand her research to the point where it will occupy most of her attention. At that point, he expects her to either step down from the Council, or be so distracted by her research that she will not have the time or inclination to rally support against the appointment of an Invictus Councillor.
The Council holds a Small Court at the London Eye. The agree to the prisoner exchange proposed by Merlin, and to allow the Temple to continue to investigate Merlin, Sicarius, and de Courcey. The Seer accuses Wyncham of letting his youthful fear of de Courcey get the better of him, and blind him to the possibility that Merlin might be de Courcey's ally, or even superior, rather than his servant.
Following the Kindred Council meeting, the Temple meets at the British Museum to arrange the prisoner exchange. Triumvirs Ilia Volyova and Jonathon Clavain are present, as is Sebastion Macellarius, Wyncham, Gareth Jones, Dyggvi, and Stella Grey. Donatein phones Merlin, who agrees to exchange the prisoners at Camden Lock Market
Dontaien, Stella, Dyggvi, Gareth Jones and Sebastion Macellarius drive to Camden with Mead and the two Customs agents. They find Merlin's Rolls-Royce parked there waiting for them. Merlin is waiting in the Camden Canal Market to exchange the prisoners. He is wearing an ancient and scorched wooden crucifix which he keeps stroking, as though it is making him nervous.
The prisoner exchange goes without violence, and Merlin invites Donatein's party to leave in peace. Stella and Gareth Jones sense that the crucifix contains a fragment of the spirit of the Great Fire itself, which is about to break free. Stella warns Merlin of the danger. Merlin orders his own men and their charges to leave immediately, and prepares a desperate contingency measure - implanting the crucifix in his own stomach, in the belief that the fire will not be able to consume his flesh and will not therefore be able to harm the city.
The measure appears to work. Shortly after inserting the cross into his stomach, Merlin bursts into flame and hurls himself into the canal. Eventually, the flames die down and Merlin drags himself from the canal and vomits up the remains of the cross. Gareth Jones can sense no trace of the fire spirit, and Stella, though she can still foresee the danger of a fire, senses that the danger has been lessened and localised.
Stella asks Merlin who and what he is. He replies that he is a form of undead which is apparently able to survive any physical trauma, that he was born in 1867 and died in 1916, and that he is a someone who tries to make responsible use of the truth of the supernatural. Upon questioning, Merlin reveals that he became an immortal undead in 1916 as a result of a botched attempt to revive some dead troops as zombies. Nathaniel, in turn, reveals the runes with which he was marked by Set. Stella and Merlin clash over the morality of Merlin's actions. Merlin reveals that he was interested in the Iraqi historic artefacts because some of the historic depections of the Ishtar myth contain what he believes to be coded necromantic rituals. He agrees to help Donatein locate a "missing person" in exchange for Donatein explaining the significance of the runes. Donatein asks Merlin to locate "Sicarius", a reference which Merlin does not appear to recognize. The Temple group and Merlin part ways peacefully
Back at the British Museum, Wyncham informs the Triumvirs of his plan to manoeuver Eleanor Verne off the Council.
François returns to Confessions, where he finds Morganna and Ben Foster dancing. Morganna has been teaching Ben to use the basics of the Majesty Discipline as a hunting technique. François asks Morganna about the significance of her chosen name, and whether the name "Merlin" means anything to her. Morganna assumes that François has learned something about Merlin by researching the past of Carnac hospital. She tells him about Wayland's Smithy and its recovery of Abbott and de Courcey, and reveals that Dr. Mathias Galt - aka Merlin - was the Smithy's leader, believing that Merlin is dead and that Wayland's Smithy was destroyed in 1917. She also tells Francois that James Abbott is her ghoul. Francois urges her to reveal what she knows to the Temple. Morganna asks why, since as far as she is aware, the events at Carnac are long-dead history. Francois indicates that the Temple may have some interest in James Abbott, and asks to meet him.
Morganna offers to arrange a meeting in Regent's Park, and Francois agrees. He telephones Wyncham to inform him. Shortly thereafter, Donatein telephones Wyncham to report the result of the meeting with Merlin. Merlin asks Donatein to meet him near Regent's Park. Donatein and the two ghouls arrive and wait for Wyncham
Upon questioning, Abbott sticks to his story of being a World War One soldier who was afflicted with ghostly echoes by the experiments conducted by Wayland's Smithy, although he subtly baits Wyncham about certain aspects of his past - including the fact that Simon Mercadier was Wyncham's sire, and Wyncham asked him for the Embrace. Donatein, sensing that Abbott/Sicarius is one of the thousand damned souls who escaped from hell during the First World War, kills him
Morganna is furious and distressed at the death of her long-term ghoul and confidante, but Wyncham uses his authority as a senior Sworn of the Mysteries to forbid her from retaliation. He agrees to take Nairne's ghouls as his own and sends them to his publically acknowledged haven in Holborn. Wyncham and Dyggvi then travel to the British Museum, where Wyncham looks up Merlin in the surviving archives of the Mithraeum Club and discovers that, as a young man, he was interested in the Inanna myth - which he describes as "a how-to guide to escape from the Underworld"
Wyncham and Donatein go to Holborn to question Nairne's former ghouls about where Nairne was obtaining Iraqi antiquities. Neither know anything, but Caitlin Quinne recalls that Nairne always scribbled "weird doodles" before he met with his contact. When she sketches an example, they appear to be Atlantean runes
Wyncham draws a corrected version of the sketch based on the examples of Atlantean runes he saw tattooed on Nathaniel Donatein. This triggers Caitlin Qunin to recite the date and location of the next shipment of illicit antiquities from Iraq. Wyncham and Donatein conclude that the knowledge must have been implanted in her mind, with its release triggered by watching someone draw that specific combination of Atlantean runes
Saturday, 9th February 2008
Stella receives a visit from Chief Inspector Gillian Curwen of the Met's Homicide Division. Curwen tells Stella that "Dr. James Carter" - the current alias used by Abbott/Sicarius - has been murdered, but that he altered his Will to leave Stella two million pounds a few hours before he was killed
Visiting JN Abbott with August, Stella finds a letter addressed to her there, written by Carter before he was killed. It admits his history as Sicarus, but warns her that many Temple members, including Wyncham, Van Lutyens, and Ralph Treganan, and morally dubious characters at best. It accuses them of various crimes and urges Stella to sever her connection with the Temple before she becomes corrupted
A little later,at a pub called the Cove, Stella reveals the existence of the letter to Dyggvi and asks him to keep it secret while she investigates its accusations. Dyggvi agrees to keep the matter confidential for a short time, but does his best to assure Stella that the Temple, while sometimes using dubious means, does try to pursue moral ends.
Stella asks Dyggvi to look into the fate of Royce Andrews and Andy Dean, two criminals who Sicarius' letter claims were murdered by Ralph Treganan. Dyggvi finds an old Guardians of the Veil report suggesting that Andrews was possesssed by an unidentified spirit - perhaps a ghost - which forced him to kill first Dean and then himself. To his shock, Dyggvi discovers that the pair used to work for Lucian, the Kindred who triggered his Awakening by almost murdering him. He also finds an account dating back to the Victorian era, indicating that the Mages of the time rescued Richard Bosworth, Katherine Shaw's disgraced former manager, from prison, in order to interrogate him about Mage involvement in the Eastern Palace scandal. Thomas Wyncham arranged for Ralph Treganan to shelter Bosworth in a safe-house in Southampton after his escape. Bosworth died of an apparent heart attack four days after his mistress gave birth to his son
Stella visits St. Paul's Cathedral. Using her Time magic and Legacy abilities, she witnesses the moment when Wyncham realized that Simon Mercadier was responsible for the deaths of his father and brothers, and turned against the Lancea Sanctum. She also sees that Matilda de Bray was present when it happened - although Tom didn't realize this at the time
Later, at the Temple meeting, Wyncham summarizes the discoveries which have been made so far. Several members of the Temple express disquiet at Nathaniel Donatein's unilateral action. Stella suggests that an Adept of the Mind Arcanum be allowed to examine Caitlin Quinn to release the buried memory of the person who implanted the knowledge of the next antiquities shipment. Wyncham agrees, provided that the experience doesn't cause her unnecessary emotional trauma
The runes used to trigger Caitlin Quinn's memories seem to be an odd "dialect" of High Speech which neither Stella nor any of the other Mages present recognize. Stella decides to accept Jonathan Clavain's offer to look for matching references in the Great Library of House Skade
Tom offers Stella a lift home. En route, he reveals the circumstances of his early life and Embrace to her, and she in turn reveals what she witnessed of his past. Wyncham is shaken by the revelation of Matilda de Bray's presence at his "epiphany", and at his request, Stella allows him to witness his brothers being infected by Mercadier's Morbus agents. This allays Wyncham's fear that Mercadier was framed for the deaths by de Bray
Katherine Shaw visits Stella to discuss what Stella has learned about Bosworth's escape. After Stella reveals Treganan's role in events, Katherine goes to see him. Treganan reveals that he has been watching the Bosworth fammily - at Wyncham's behest and supported by Wyncham's money - since Richard Bosworth's death. He also tells her that the Mages still appear to be watching the Bosworth family line, for reasons unknown. Katherine assures him, quite untruthfully, that she will let the matter drop
August Podin meets Narinder Jalil wandering around London, and they discuss the Temple and Van Lutyens' involvement in it. Narinder reveals that a mysterious American has been wandering around London looking for August. They meet with him, and he reveals that he is the "Eyespy" the Mage who emailed Ben Drake about the Nergal tablets. He shows August a video, obtained through Time magic, showing Ben being murdered by a Mage, supported by a gigantic spirit that appears as a giant hummingbird composed of a swarm of thousands of glowing droplets of blood. Eyespy tells August that the mystery Mage is now after him, and he wants protection. August agrees. Later, Caspar Van Lutyens and Diana Gallow view the video. Diana speculates that the hummingbird spirit might be related to the Aztec god, Huitzilopochtli, and speculates that its Ban might have something to do with human sacrifice. The Uratha decide to try to find out something about the enemy Mage before informing the Temple
Tom meets Eleanor Verne to begin his promised tuition in Theban sorcery
Nathaniel Donatein meets the Seer to seek advice on how to dispose of Merlin. The Seer believes that Merlin exists because he is destined to play a role in stopping Sicarius' plans. She advises Donatein to concentrate on frustrating those plans, suggesting that once they are finally defeated, Merlin's link to the world will be severed
Following his meeting with the Seer, Donatein contacts Wyncham, asking to be present when the Temple intercepts the next consignment of Iraqi artifacts which Nairne was supposed to receive. Wyncham agrees. He tells Donatein that he's checking the records of Nairne's company in case Nairne's supplier established a cover relationship with it
Sunday, 10th February 2008
Stella visits the Great Library to begin investigating the Atlantean runes sketched by Wyncham. She discovers a single Grimoire with a similar, distinctive rune structure to the one which Wyncham sketched. It appears to be Atlantean in origin, and was discovered amongst a cargo of Aztec treasure by a privateer Captain named Sir Matthew Wynter during the reign of Elizabeth I. It was kept by his family after they migrated to Massachusetts, and was buried for centuries after the last member of the line was killed and his house burned to the ground. It was found again in 1922 and bought by an American college called Gallowfield in the 1930s, when it was linked to the deaths of two students killed in a presumed automobile accident. Stella finds several photographs of the funeral
Nathaniel Donatein receives a communication from Wyncham. It appears that the only suspect company which did business with Nairne's trucking firm is a specialist medical transport company based in Edinburgh, Lynx Secure Transport. He visits the company's offices in the Royal Docks business park, and meets one of their executives, a Nosferatu called Hans Schmidt
Donatein poses as an Invictus representative, interested in embarking on a programme of biological research to protect the First estate's herds against disease. Schmidt give Donatein a tour of the LST warehouse facility on the outskirts of London, which includes secret labs and concealed holding cells. Donatien's Obtenebration discipline allows him to see a ghost in one of the holding cells, which gabbles out a cryptic message
"Tell them Kirk Raegan was killed by Herber Medical. Helen Douglas was Elsa Mayr in World War Two. The Torch of Allah doesn't exist. The whole thing was just a fake, a front. Samuel Ashby set it up as part of Project Failsa..."
Using House Skade's resources, Donatein discovers that Herber Medical is a public medical research company part owned by a reclusive widow named Helen Herber, nee Douglas, that Samuel Ashby is a South African businessman who sits on its board, and that Helen Herber was once a pharmacist working on SS drug experiments during WWII. A photograph from the era reveals that she was at least acquainted with "Hans Schmidt", who was a mortal SS officer at that time. He calls Wyncham, who confirms that Schmidt has not attepted to Present himself to the London Court
Wyncham meets a police contact, Ashley Lincoln, who confirms that Kirk Raegan was a police officer assigned to investigate the Torch of Allah, and that Samuel Ashby has been investigated for dubious corporate links with unsavoury African regimes. Later, Lincoln contacts Wyncham with the news that Ashby will fly into London the following night, and has booked a suite at the Dorchester. Wyncham passes this on to Donatein
Monday, 11th February 2008
At the Mysterium archives, Stella learns that a similar rune structure was found amongst the surviving effects of a suspected eighteenth-century Scelestus named Edgar Griffen. Returning to the Great Library for another look at the Grimoire, she discovers a spell designed to create a "demon" from the caster's greed, a demon which could then be further empowered using a "dark blade" - presumably some sort of magical artifact. She telephones Wyncham with the news, and they speculate that the "demon" may have been identified by the Aztecs as a deity, and that it may be the entity protecting Griffen and extending his life. The victims all appear to have died of heart failure, which gives them a connection to the murder of August Podin's packmate - meaning that "Griffen" was also linked to Sicarius and whatever he was planning.
Wyncham calls Caspar Van Luytens and asks him to maintain a discreet surveillance of Stella in case Griffen tried to kill her. He also calls an unidentified woman who serves the Eagle, asking her to find any information on flights that Sicarius may have taken from Gatwick or Heathrow
Donatein meets Merlin, who reveals that Abbott was suspected to be building an organization called "Asylum", purpose presently unknown, which was recruiting Kindred as well as mortals and perhaps, escapees from hell. Merlin agrees to investigate Herber Medical and the Torch of Allah
August receives a call from Harry Marchment. The Mage in Eyespy's video has been identified as one Colonel George Green, head of an Anglo-American mercenary company
Wyncham goes to speak with Kester, Katherine Shaw's sire. Kester is
unhappy with Wyncham for keeping the truth about Bosworth from Kate. After a lively discussion, during which Kester completely demolishes the warehouse where the two of them meet, the Nosferatu agrees to accept Wyncham's apology.
Kate meets with Stella to discuss Bosworth. Their discussion is interrupted when a Mage attempts to burgle the flat and is scared off by Jamie Arden, an Uratha assigned by Van Lutyens to guard Stella. Concerned by the attack on one of their own, the rest of the Temple convene at Stella's flat for an impromptu meeting.
Stella uses Time magic to learn more about the intruding Mage. Initially, she is convinced that the intruder is Griffen, but he is obviously too young and inexperienced for that. Apparently he is linked to whatever conspiracy has been watching the Bosworth family
The Temple discuss Asylum, and conclude that the organization is trying to develop a magical ritual which will allow Damned souls to escape from hell, deliberately duplicating the accidental escape which took place during the Great War. Since their research is based on Nergal, a god of disease, and they have connections with both medical research and terrorist groups, their likely method may well involve a "sacrifice" achieved through the release of a bioengineered pathogen
Stella asks to speak with Caitlin Quinn, hoping to use Time magic to trace Griffen through her. Wyncham agrees, but, realizing that Caitlin is now a loose end which Griffen may attempt to close off, arranges for Mother to move Caitline and Glen Lowell to Pans
Tuesday, 12th February 2008
Mother and Nick treat Stella to lunch at Gordon Ramsey's. Mother asks Stella to use her Time magic to view Ben Foster's Embrace by de Courcey, hoping to discover some clue as to de Courcey's actual relationship with Asylum. They then go on to Pan's. Although the place has been locked down prior to the visit, Stella deduces what happens there from the spiritual aura of the place after Nick confesses his true background. A tense discussion with Mother and Nick ensues. The tension mounts when Stella meets Dale Locke, one of the Mages who Wyncham has suborned to work at Pan's
Stella agrees to leave Pan's alone, but warns Nick and Mother of the presence of a powerful spirit entity which seems to be awakening there and which appears linked to the aura of the place.
Stella looks into Caitlin Quinn's past. She discovers that Caitlin was taken to a private estate outside London, called "Dante's Folly", to be programmed with the delivery instructions for the Iraqi antiquities. She witnesses a conversation between Ashby (whose home Dante's Folly apparently is), Sicarius, and Griffen, who Ashby addresses as "Wynter". Griffen/Wynter senses her scrying and severs the connection before she can learn more
Glen Lowell and Caitlin Quinn approach Stella to ask if she can perform any magic which will protect them from a renewed Vinculum. Stella is horrified.
Later that evening, the Inner Circle of the Invictus meets with Andrej Stolypin of Clan Ventrue, House Skade's candidate for an Invictus Councillor
Tom and Stella meet. Stella confronts Tom about the Vinculum, and he explains the existence of the Vitae Reliquary to her, warning her not to reveal it to anyone. They drive to he site of Ben Foster's Embrace. Stella uses Time magic to witness the event. They discover that Ben Foster is working for Merlin, and that de Courcey Embraced him under duress - Wayland's Smithy had strapped a remote-controlled high-explosive device to his torso. They realize that de Courcey must have been recaptured by Wayland's Smithy subsequent to his escape from Carnac Hospital. Stella expresses concern for Ben Foster's fate. Tom promises that he'll do what he can to spare Foster Final Death, adding that he's likely to be traded back to Merlin in a hostage exchange
Tom returns to Pan's, where he discusses the situation with the spirit with Nick and Mother. He makes a provisional decision to close the club for three reasons. First, to protect the young prostitutes from the spirit. Second, because if the spirit is responsible for the estate's status as a Crucible, the the Dragons' rule against subjugating oneself to spirits means that Crucible can't be used. Third, because the existence of Pan's is a likely deal-breaker for Stella Grey's future involvement in the Temple
The Bosworth Conspiracy plants a bomb in the flat belonging to Damian Fleming (Karde), the Mage who broke into Stella's apartment. They use no magic to ensure success for fear of alerting the Consilium's investigators, and as a result, Fleming escapes. Fleming seeks temporary shelter with Nietzsche, planning to leave town as soon as possible.
Wednesday, 13th February 2008
Stella visits Kate Shaw, and they discuss Pan's and their ethical qualms about it. They visit the Palace Theatre, now a Victorian-themed nightclub called Club Diogenes, accompanied by Kester and Dyggvi
Stella scrys back through time and witnesses Richard Bosworth's performance as the ghost as Hamlet in 1826. She perceives the Abyssal entity inside him feeding on the fear of the audience and depositing what seem like "eggs" of some kind into their spirits. The stress of the scrying so close to a major Abyssal manifestation causes her to black out momentarily, but not before she senses Mages in 1826 beginning to use magic to contain the creature.
Nathaniel Donatein, Tom Wyncham and August Podin make an attempt to kidnap Samuel Ashby from the Dorchester Hotel. They send his guards drugged food via Room Service, and then trigger the fire alarm to ensure the building is evacuated before cutting the power supply.
Ashby and his guards are rendered unconscious by the drug, but Ashby is being protected by a pair of demons which his mortal guards refer to as "Utukku". The demons get Ashby clear of his suite by carrying him down the side of the building. August Podin pursues them through an occupied hotel room. The couple in the room are both left unconscious - the man knocked out by one of the Utukku, the woman fainting when she sees August in his Garau form.
August destroys both demons, but they "re-hatch" from human livers in the kitchen of Ashby's suite. They appear to surrender to Wyncham and Nathaniel.
As August searches the apartment belonging to the unconscious couple for fresh clothes, Robert Knox arrives and suggests that they rejoin Tom and Nathaniel upstairs.
Knox and August realize that the Utukku attempted to switch the real Ashby for the mortal occupying the suite. Knox and Tom exchange mobile texts and agree to play along with the ruse. August and Nathaniel go up to Ashby's suite carrying the unconscious mortal, who they pretend to believe is Ashby. The demons, thinking their ruse successful, withdraw back into the Shadow.
When Ashby regains consciousness, he uses a magical "cyanide pill" provided by Wynter to render himself unable to speak anything but the language of demons, the so-called "Dragon's Tongue". Donatein recognizes it as a language spoken by Nietzsche, and suggests they visit the renegade Mage to ask for his help.
Stella, Kate and Kestor arrive at Nietzsche's home, tracking Fleming/Karde. Nietzsche demands the Guardian file containing the reasons for his expulsion in exchange for letting them see Karde. Karde agrees with the demand, and Dyggvi promises to try to meet it.
Donatein, August and Tom arrive at Nietzsche's place, along with Ashby. Stella questions Karde, supported by the others, and he reveals that the Phobovore was summoned in the seventeenth century to dispose of a group of Archbishop Mercadier's lackeys, the Milvian Legion, and afterwards the Conspiracy found that the only way to contain it was to bind it into the psyches of the Bosworth family, who seem to have the unique ability to harbour the creature without being driven insane.
Nietzche's ally, Sam, barely thwarts a magical "fail-safe" designed to kill Karde if he talks - a larval Phobovore implanted in his psyche. Donatein suggests that Karde be offered shelter by House Skade, who may have an interest in recruiting him.
Stella leaves, and the others interrogate Ashby. They discover that Asylum plans to crack open the gates of Hell by using the iMins developed by JN Abbott to spread a bioengineered variant of the influenza virus and mystically "mark" those infected as ritual sacrifices.
Ben Foster is contacted by a mysterious, invisible benefactor, who offers to protect him from the Blood Hunt which has been called against him - without explaining why.
Thursday, 14th February 2008
The Consilium Council meet. They agree to give Wynter priority over the Bosworth conspiracy, and to allow the Temple to dismantle the iMin project while the Consilium goes after Wynter himself. After discussing the matter, they agree to try using the sympathetic connection between Wynter and the Grimoire in Skade' Great Library, to trace him
Nick visits Stella to relate what was learned from Ashby's interrogation. He asks her to vist Pan's to identify the provenance of some magical texts found by Tom when he was renovating his haven in the medieval cellars of the building
Wynter decides to deal with the Temple's interference by kidnapping Nick Owen and the Aldhelms' children, and threatening to kill them unless Tom and the Aldhelms help him to stall the Temple for long enough for the iMin project to get under way.
Stella visits Pan's, where Tom has just agreed to hand the estate and its mysterious spirit denizen over to the Uratha in exchange for blood donations from Uratha volunteers. She senses that the spirit is slowly awakening
Jason Cash attends the funeral of his friend Matthew Fox. He receives an ancient text and a couple of bottles of fine wine from him as a bequest.
Friday, 15th February 2008
Jason Cash approaches the antiquarian Sidney Ravensworth for help in translating the ancient Latin text which he received from Matthew Fox
Nick meets Ash Lincoln to inform him of what's happening. En route to Pans, the car is forced off the road. Nick is kidnapped and Ash is left concussed. When he wakes up, he calls Stella Grey to tell her what's happened.
Sam Aldhelm receives a call from Wynter threatening the lives of her children unless she and her husband co-operate with Asylum.
As Nathaniel sleeps, he receives a vision from Set, pointing to the tomb where the spirit is, and guiding him towards Tom's haven.
As evening falls, Donatein and August Podin join Stella, Tom and Ash Lincoln at Pan's. Stella tries to cast a scrying spell to locate Nick and the young Aldhelms, but she is unsuccessful at first. The spirit beneath Pan's, however, awakens and offers its assistance in exchange for its freedom.
Against their better judgement, the group agrees to its terms. Freed, the spirit takes the form of Simon Mercadier, Tom's sire, and helps Stella to locate the safe house where Wynter is keeping the hostages. Having fulfilled its part in the bargain, it escapes back into the spirit world. Tom orders Pan's evacuated.
Nathaniel Donatein goes to meet Merlin. Merlin calls for reinforcements, but warns Donatein that they will take several hours to arrive. In the meantime, Merlin agrees to go with Donatein to assist in the attack on Wynter's stronghold.
Dale Locke and Crispin Hart, Tom's Mage allies, help Stella to recover her memories of Wynter's grimoire. She realizes that Wynter's obsidian dagger, the Dark Blade, is essential for the spirit Huitzilopochtli to manifest and gain Essence, and that if it is destroyed, the spirit's pact with Wynter will be broken and he will lose the immortality which it has granted him. She also realizes the way in which the Dark Blade can be destroyed - by using it to sacrifice a creature who is already dead. Like a Kindred...
She discusses her discovery with Tom, who volunteers to be the sacrificial victim to save Nick and the Aldhelm children, even though Stella warns him that he might not survive the experience
The Temple party sets out for Wynter's estate, meeting Merlin and Donatein en route.
Arriving on the outskirts of Wynter's estate, Sam Aldhelm opens a gate to the spirit world. She, Derek Aldhelm and August Podin enter Wynter's house via the spirit world, and Sam takes Nick and her children out the same way. August Podin and Derek Aldhelm remain in the house to deal with Wynter, and swiftly find themselves embroiled in a battle with his demons and mortal troops.
Merlin uses his invulnerability to distract the machine-gun wielding guards outside the house, allowing Tom, Stella and Nathaniel to sneak inside.
Nathaniel locates Helen Douglas, who is carrying a cylinder of the Failsafe virus, which will be released by a dead man's switch in the heart monitor attached to her wrist if she dies. Nathaniel disables her without killing her, and returns the virus to the biohazard safe in her room.
Tom and Stella break into Wynter's personal chambers and find the Nergal tablets. They destroy them, ending Wynter's ability to summon additional demonic reinforcements. They find the sacrificial dagger, the Dark Blade, hidden in his room.
Ash Lincoln goes to see Caspar Van Lutyens, who immediately mobilises his own and several other Uratha packs to head for Wynter's estate. They meet Nick and the Aldhelm children
, and a group of Uratha escort the young Aldhelms back to the protection of the Koh-i-Nor pack. However, Wynter using teleportation magic to home in on Nick and kidnap him again
The rescue force from Wayland's Smithy lands at Wynter's estate and meets the Temple party. Wynter appears above the grounds as a giant projected image, taunting them and magically torturing a manacled Nick in front of them. The sight of Nick being tortured gives Stella Grey the impetus she needs to enact the sacrificial ritual on Tom, who collapses and starts to decay.
The sacrificial ritual destroys the obsidian dagger, and with it Huitzilopochtli's ability to manifest on the physical plane. Huitzilopochtli, enraged, manifests and withdraws its protection from Wynter, who dies almost immediately, withering into a mummified husk.
With Wynter dead, his plan to crack open the gates of hell can never come to fruition. Merlin, whose immortality was Fate's fail-safe to prevent the plan succeeding, moves on, vanishing before the eyes of everyone present, as the Seer earlier predicted to Donatein.
On the astral plane, Heart's Desire makes contact with both Nick and Tom. It offers to save Tom, so that he in turn can save Nick, who is now trapped in a sealed underground chamber with a limited air supply. Tom accepts the bargain, and revives.
The Temple party and the reinforcements from Wayland's Smithy fight their way past several of Wynter's remaining demons, and crack open the sealed chamber holding Nick.
Manfred Dorf, aka "Hans Schmidt", the sole survivor of Asylum's leadership, makes his escape from the house by booat.
The Uratha and Mage reinforcements arrive. After tense negotiations, the Temple agrees a guarded truce with Wayland's Smithy
Saturday, 16th February 2008
Sidney Ravensworth meets Alex Styles to tell her about Cash's Latin text, which contains a word - "Skade" - that has haunted his dreams for more than thirty years.
Returning to Ravensworth's shop, Alex and Ravensworth see that it has been the victim of an arson attack. A third of Ravensworth's stock has been destroyed. Alex offers Ravensworth a bed at her flat, and arranges for the Adamantine Arrow to put the place under guard
Later that night, she visits the Consilium headquarters at Canary Wharf to consult with Dvergr. They agree that the attack on Ravensworth's shop is unlikely to be the work of Uratha, Kindred, or Mages, but that they should try to get hold of Cash's text - which looks as though it might be a journal written by the vampire Skade - before House Skade learns of its existence
Sunday, 17th February 2008
Alex reads Sidney Ravensworth's mind to discover that he got the partial photocopy of Skade's journal from Jason Cash. She tracks down Cash to make him an offer for the book. Cash turns her down but offers her first refusal should he eventually decide to sell. Alex tells him that anyone he employs to translate the manuscript will be targeted by whoevver killed his friend. Cash replies that he will give the translation to someone whose well-being he is unconcerned about.
Sunday, 24th February 2008
Dvergr and Alex Styles visit Stella Grey to ask if she knows any unscrupulous classical scholars to whom Jason Cash might give the translation job. Stella thinks of a TV academic, Dr. Victor Newbury, who is flying back to England that day. She urges Dvergr and Alex to inform House Skade of the situation, and Dvergr agrees that she should call a Temple meeting and raise the matter there.
The Temple meets and agrees to help House Skade recover the manuscript
Nick and Stella go to interview Adriana Stoichita, a former member of Nick's street gang and an ex-employee of Pan's. She reveals that Newbury was guilty of fraud and theft from archaeological sites as well as sexual misconduct. She also mentions a contact called "Caspian" with whom Newbury had occasional telephone contact, and who he seemed to be afraid of.
Meanwhile, Jason Cash goes to Newbury, to demand help with the translation. After he leaves, Newbury pays a visit to his sponsor, "Caspian", who orders him to secure the remainder of the manuscript at all costs.
Monday, 25th February 2008
Jason Cash visits Newbury to collect the translation. He is still there when Stella Grey and August Podin arrive to speak with Newbury.
After a tense and fraught discussion, Jason Cash decides to set fire to Newbury's house, an act which will result in his collection of illicit pornography being discovered. In exchange for a safe place to hide, Newbury reveals that "Caspian" is a criminal based in a warehouse in the docklands, and that he is disfigured, with about half his body replaced with strange-looking brass prostheses reminiscent of Jules Verne
Stella contacts Tom by 'phone. He deduces that "Caspian" is really Griffiths, partially restored to life by Greville using alchemical means. Tom agrees to keep Newbury in a form of protective custody.
Stella, August and Jason Cash go to Caspian's base, now a mall complex housed in a conversion of the Victorian warehouse he was using a century past. August is drawn into the spirit world by an active gate located in Caspian's laboratory under the building, from which he barely escapes.
Exploring the basement of the building, Jason discovered cells holding a large number of draugr created by Nigel Greville, who is now a Kindred and a member of the European Ordo Dracul. Stella and Jason confront Caspian, who attempts to murder them but is thwarted by Stella's magic.
Greville arrives and makes a second attempt to kill Stella and Jason by releasing the draugr. It fails when House Skade and Wyncham arrive and drive the creatures back into their cages. Caspian commits suicide rather than face any further judgement from House Skade. Greville escapes.
Tom decides to buy the warehouse/mall complex and transform it into his new haven. House Skade takes charge of the draugr for use as shock troops, and elevates one of their number to control them. Jason Cash agrees to sell the Skade manuscript to Thomas Wyncham, who presents it to House Skade.
In the alternate reality, a Detroit police officer, Wesley Hart, returns home to find his wife Nisha kidnapped. Wes, an Uratha, receives a vision of the kidnapping from his deceased mother, in which he sees one of the kidnappers make a telephone call.
He goes to Ferret, a British Mage who works out of Detroit as an information broker. Ferret eventually manages to trace the number to the Colchian Clinic, a private medical facility used by prominent members of London's underworld and controlled by a powerful Kindred elder known as the Barber
Monday, 3rd November 2008
Nathaniel Donatein attends a meeting at the Eagle's stronghold, the converted No Man's Land Seat Fort in the English Channel, where he engages in a brief verbal tussle with Frances Rafferty, the leader of the Invictus Exiles..
Sophia Franklyn, a Thorned Wreath Knight and the Eagle's strong right hand, suggests that Donatein join the Thorned Wreath, to provide a visible and public statement to the people of London that the Invictus stands for principle and honour, not the cowardly self-interest of the Exiles. She argues that although House Skade enjoys a good reputation amongst the Kindred of London, it is too often seen as separate from the Invictus as a whole; by joining the Thorned Wreath, Donatein would provide a public statement that the two are one. Donatein suggests that the decision be referred to Triumvir Clavain. All present suspect that Clavain will agree.
Tuesday, 4th November 2008
Morrigan is injured in an ambush while rescuing Natalie Briggs fromm a plot by her stepfather. Jason takes her to a safe-house owned by Thomas Wyncham
Seeing an opportunity, Wyncham recruits her to infiltrate the Bosworth Conspiracy and bring it down from within - without the knowledge or permission of the Temple or the Mage Polis. In exchange, he agrees to attempt to secure her a Consilium pardon for her past activities as an IRA terrorist
Wednesday, 5th November 2008
In London-Alterna, a group of Guardians of the Veil is attempting to catch a young, untrained Mage, Isobel Blake ("Izzy"), for her own and everyone else's protection. Izzy, a street person and member of the Thieves' Guild, is swept into our reality along with Keaton Hood, aka "Monk", one of the pursuing Guardians.
Keaton Hood is badly dazed by the transition. Izzy makes her escape while he is recovering. He goes to Canary Wharf - the headquarters of the Consilium in both realities - and is debriefed by Dyggvi, giving the London Consilium its first look at the problem.
While working in a homeless shelter, Nick and Stella meet Izzy, who is still unaware that she is in a different reality and is seeking her own contacts there.
Izzy steals one of Stella's magical tools. Stella and Nick track it - and her - down using magic. After some negotiation, Izzy agrees to stay at Stella's flat, at least for a while.
Nick and Stella deduce that Izzy is from another reality. Stella immediately makes the connection with the Device, and resolves to check it the next day
In London-Alterna, the parallel Dyggvi attends one of Thomas Wyncham's parties, and reports the disappearance of Izzy and Keaton Hood to representatives of the Curia Regis. The Hierarch reveals that the Curia Regis is already aware that at least one Kindred, and a number of ordinary mortals, appear to be breaking through into London-Alterna from another reality.
Thursday, 6th November 2008
Stella and Nick visit Simeon's old house to check on the Device. Stella tells Nick of her abortive attempt to use it in order to restore her lover to life.
Stella discovers that the Device has somehow locked onto its missing power source, presumably located in Izzy's reality. Since it's impossible to touch the Device itself, Nick suggests that they have no choice but to cross into London Alterna and try to shut the power source off - or destroy it.
Jason Cash is arrested on suspicion of the murder of Lord Simon Briggs, a wealthy aristocrat and businessman. His daughter, Natalie Briggs, is missing. Jason is suspected of having a hand in her disappearance.
Alex Styles receives a file on Jason Cash. It reveals his arrest, along with the fact that e has been associating with several as-yet-unidentified individuals in cemeteries over the past month. A report from a Moros colleague informs her that London's spirit world has been stirred up by something unidentified over the same period.
Jason Cash is visited in prison first by Peter Stone, his Red Cell handler, and then by the Seer and Thomas Wyncham. The Seer urges him to co-operate with House Skade against a common enemy, the "Birds of Dis" mentioned in the Skade manuscript, which she describes as hostile spirits. She also warns him that unspecified dangerous individuals will seek him for the knowledge he gained from the Skade journal unless he has the protection of House Skade. Jason agrees tentatively to work with, if not exactly for, House Skade.
The Temple meets to discuss the Alterna problem. Stella reveals her own part in the affair to her fellow Temple members.
Jonathon Clavain suggests that Jason Cash be recruited to assist in the investigation. The Temple agrees to do what they can to secuure his release from police custody. They agree that Stella and August Podin will visit him, posing as his lawyers.
After the meeting, Tom confronts Stella about potentially endangering Nick by going after Izzy the previous night without calling for backup. Stella is not pleased.
Friday, 7th November 2008
Stella and August visit Jason Cash in jail. Jason gives them the address of the motel where Natalie Briggs is hiding. He tells them that she can supply them with three numbers which hold the key to his release from jail. Once they obtain them, he tells them to pass them on to Peter Stone.
Stella and August go to the motel and meet Natalie. She gives them the numbers, which she says are passcodes to safe-deposit boxes. She is attended by - or linked to - to a mysterious and somewhat gruesome spirit resembling a murdered woman, which she calls "the Bride".
Peter Stone meets August and Stella in a restaurant. He agrees to use the numbers to assist Jason, but warns them of unspecified but seriious consequences if Jason should suffer because of his association with them.
Ash Lincoln goes to the Wyvern to meet Mother. He asks for Tom's help dealing with Gordon Barnet, an armed bank robber who has seemingly returned from the dead and subsequently vanished from a police cell. Mother deduces that the Alterna version of Barnet is somehow "bouncing" bbetween his world and ours.
Nick visits Izzy at Stella's flat. Izzy expresses her concerns at the danger Nick is in from Tom and confesses to Nick that she regards this "other" London in which she finds herself as an elaborate hallucination.
Stella walks in on them as they are comparing and contrasting music from the two Londons. She tells Nick to go home and that the investigation has become too dangerous for him. He tells he that she won't find him that easy to get rid of.
Saturday, 8th November 2008
The Consilium Council meets with Munin and Pales, and agrees to disclose the full contents of Keaton Hood's debriefing to the other Poli
Munin meets Caspar Van Lutyens, August Podin and Jason Cash at the British Museum. He asks Jason for help tracking down Barnet
Stella is continuing to research the Device at Simeon's old house, watched over By Dyggvi and several other Guardian and Arrow agents. Pales takes Stella the file on Barnet along with a copy of Keaton Hood's debriefing. Dyggvi asks Stella to check the Device for "activity spikes" which might correspond to Barnet's appearances and disappearances. Stella manages to get some tentative readings, but not enough to narrow it down to a precise time or location.
Stella and the others join the rest of the Temple at the British Museum, where they discuss Barnet. Izzy mentions that he drinks at a pub called the ship, which is managed by an underworld figure called Tilda Dumas, known as the "Matchmaker".
The Temple party visit the Ship, and Tilda Dumas mentions that a number of her associates have been vanishing under mysterious circumstances. She also tells Jason that Barnet has demanded a meeting with one of her contacts at 5.30 at "the usual place". Unfortunately he didn't specify where that place was, and the contact - not being his counterpart in the other universe - didn't know.
Meanwhile, outside the Ship, Stella senses the temporal distortion effect of an incipient breach between worlds, building up somewhere near the Tower of London.
Jason Cash interviews a spirit minion of the Crow King near the Tower of London. The spirit tells him to look "at the crossing place near the river", which Jason correctly interprets to mean Tower Bridge.
Stella and Izzy notice that they're being followed by a young werewolf, Jake Harris, who works for Thomas Wyncham, and has been asked by Nick to keep an eye on them. Stella is far from pleased but allows him to accompany them to Tower Bridge.
Inside the Tower Bridge Exhibition, the Temple party meet Gordon Barnet. An inconclusive discussion is pre-empted when a temporal shift sweeps them all into Alterna.
Within the Tower, a spy for House Skade 'phones his masters to alert them to the party's arrival. Don Leon St. Gabriel, the Hand of Skade in the alternate time line, arrives and effectively takes them into custody, bringing them before the Triumvirs at the British Museum
Wesley Hart arrives in the UK. He is met by David Tyrell, one of Thomas Wyncham's "lads", who takes him to Caspar Van Lutyens. Caspar agrees to help Wesley find his wife.
Caspar sends Wesley to the Monument Court of the Beggars' Guild for information. There, Wes meets Izzy Blake, newly returned from the other reality. Izzy agrees to help Wes find his wife.
With Izzy and David Tyrell's help, Wes discovers that the Barber has recently been hiring some serious muscle, who have been staying at the Midland Grand Hotel. The only one still there is Gerald Murray, a notorious independent ghoul. Wes and Tyrell distract Murry with a fake job offer while Izzy searches his room. She finds that Murry recently made a "delivery" to an address - 4, Ranskkill Gardens.
Attacking the address with the aid of the Thorned Wreath Knights, Wes discovers his wife there in an induced state of total amnesia.
Nick takes Diana, the Alpha of the Wyvern Pack of Uratha, to Parliament Hill for a romantic interlude. Unfortunately, the spot they pick is close to the grave of Nick's other self in the alternate reality. A Strix, counterpart of the one destroyed by Don Leon in Alterna, is instinctively drawn to the site as well, shortly before they arrive. The metaphysical "weight" of two supernatural beings, ghoul and Strix, combined with the aftershocks from the breach that caught Stella's party, triggers another reality shift, and both Nick and the Strix are drawn into Alterna.
Their arrival trips a magical ward designed to alert House Skade to the presence of an Owl at the site. The Strix itself leaves before Leon's arrival, but Nick himself is taken captive and brought to the British Museum. Leon senses the taint of the Strix on him from when it touched him during the transition, and suspects him of complicity with the spirit.
Stella is outraged at the treatment which Nick has received and speaks forcefully in his defence. Don Leon agrees to accept him as his own nominal ghoul for the time being. Nick agrees to the arrangement.
Don Leon takes the Temple party to meet the Curia Regis in Mercadier's former Haven under St. Paul's Cathedral, while Izzy leaves to return to Monument Court.
Jason is horrified and disgusted at the number of ghosts trapped in the Haven. He is alarmed when he senses an emergent demon being formed from their pain and fear. The Curia Regis allows him to call in "specialists" (Sin-Eaters) to deal with the problem
Stella discusses the issue of the Jewel, the Device's power source, with the Curia Regis. It emerges that in Alterna, the Temple where she and (her) Simeon Kent found the Gyre was the site of a massive complex dedicated to the heretic Pharoah Ankhenaten, discovered by the Stewart Expedition in 1939. An object resembling the Jewel was foound in an underground temple there in 1939, but the temple collapsed - killing Professor Stewart and most of his expedition - and the Jewel has not been seen since.
Justin Glebe, Josh Cebrian and Natalie Briggs - three Sin-Eaters known to Jason from his own reality - arrive at the Haven. Justin speculates that there must be a reason that the ghosts remain in the Haven after so long. Wyncham and Marlowe, listening remotely over the security monitors, wonder if the reason might be Wyncham's continued existence, or whether one or more of Mercadier's henchmen might have survived.
Eventually, however, Natalie realizes that the reason that the ghosts are trapped is that Sicarius, Simon Mercadier's torturer, is still alive in this reality, and nearby. The survival of their murderer is preventing the ghosts from moving on.
Jason goes to the Tower of London, trading a diamond ring with a dark past, provided by Wyncham, for information. The Crow King reveals that there are three prime movers behind the use of the Jewel and the collision of the realities - a woman who lost her lover in Soho Square some twenty years ago, a man who lost his teacher almost seventy years ago, and the servant of the "Blood King", who is seeking to resurrect his master. Together they form the core of the group who "deny the words of the Arab poet"
When Jason returns to Mercadier's Haven, Leon identifies the poet as Omar Khayyám, and the words the Crow King used as a reference to the FitzGerald translation of his Rubáiyát, specifically the verse which reads:-
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
There is speculation that the as-yet-unknown group may be trying to use the Jewel to rewrite history
Stella Grey returns with Lucifer to his home. They engage in a full and frank exchange of views, during which Stella reveals her involvement with his counterpart, Prometheus. She allows Lucifer to enter her mind, allegedly to shield her dangerous knowledge of the Device, and in the process develops her first instinctive grasp of the Mind Arcanum.The two of them gather information on all the surviving descendants of the Stewart Expedition members.
Alia, the Green Rider, visits Jacob to recruit him for an investigation. A Fairest named Dorian White has gone missing after dating a Mage; the Four are concerned that he may have revealed his true nature to the Mages and been imprisoned or worse. Jacob and Alia visit the Mage's home, the Chantry of the Well, ostensibly to challenge its residents to one of the computer games which Dorian was an expert on
Dyggvi, suspecting that they might have had something to do with the disappearance of Dorian and his girlfriend Rigg, gives Jacob an enchanted game controller designed to interface with the Guardians' computer network. Dyggvi only intends to use the device as a sophisticated lie-detector, but Jacob secretly turns the tables, hacking the network and gaining access to the Guardians' entire data base.
Using the information in the Guardians' network, Jacob discovers their suspicions regarding the disappearance of Dorian and Rigg - that they have crossed into London-Alterna - and their projections on the appearance of the next gate. He and Alia visit the Fleet Tabernacle, where the Four authorise an investigative foray into the other reality.
Outwitting the Mages guarding the site of the gate, Alia and Jacob cross into the other reality, where they contact Jason.
The Temple party are provided with rooms at the Ritz hotel by the Curia Regis, although Stella stays with Lucifer. Jacob and Nick spend the night together and discuss their respective pasts. Jason and Alia disappear for the night.
A reception is held at the Wyvern to welcome Alain Deschain, the new Mage Herald, to the Temple. After the meeting, Caspar's packmate Jamie Arden is found in a fugue state, induced by magical means. After some investigation, Alain discovers that the spell was cast through his mobile phone, by a call made from a modern art gallery.
Leaving Jamie Arden in the care of the Aldhelms, Alain and Caspar visit the gallery, where they are attacked by spirits which manifest as creatures made of liquid metal. Having defeated them, they discover an unconscious Mage who has been mentally conditioned in the same way as Jamie Arden. The Mage is contacted by someone or something based at City Hall, on the banks of the Thames.
Breaking into City Hall, Alain and Caspar discover the source of the mental conditioning, a magical artefact resembling a shard of obsidian. They manage to overcome its guards - a ghoul and an Uratha, both mentally conditioned - and destroy the artefact before the Guardians of the Veil arrive to organise the clean-up.
Sunday, 9th November 2008
In London-Alterna, Diana Gallow meets Seamus Lockheart, an American Uratha resident in London, in Highgate Cemetary. The Curia Regis have identified the woman who lost her lover in Soho Square as Dr. Hannah McGowan, now a famous scientist and a leading light at CERN. She asks Seamus to join the Temple party as a representative of the Curia Regis. Seamus is an old enemy of a pack of Pure who have been trying to infiltrate BP, and as Dr. McGowan also has links to BP, Seamus was a logical candidate for the job.
Stella Grey uses magic to trace the Fate connections between herself - and her connection with the Device - and the Jewel. She gets a vision of an immense building made of golden glass, on the site occupied by the Millenium Dome in her own reality.
At the Ritz hotel, the Temple party reunite - Jason and Alia arriving late and carrying a disarmed bomb from their adventures the previous night - and discuss the situation. Seamus identifies the building which Stella saw in her vision as the Gold Rose, London HQ of an international conglomerate known as the Pacific Prosperity Group.
Nick researches the PPG online with the assistance of the Curia Regis' contacts. He discovers the the PPG was formed by an alliance between Sacristan, a South American company rumoured to be backed by drug money, and the Malaysian Independent Bank, an Islamic banking operation supposedly backed by wealthy Egyptian investors. Some posts on the local Network Zero site indicate that mysterious man-bat hybrids known as "Camazotz" work for them as security assets.
Further research indicates that a large proportion of the PPG's R&D budget goes to the Gold Rose, without yielding any obvious results. McGowan, a leading scientist, is one of their senior researchers, and has been assigned a bodyguard named Evan Montcrief. There are enough clues in the Network Zero site to indicate that Montcrief is a Pure Uratha, and that at least some of his pack are Fire-Touched.
Stella and Jason go to Dr. McGowan's home in Oakley Gardens. Stella finds a secret journal which reveals that a "nervous breakdown" which Dr. McGowan suffered following the death of her boyfriend was actually her Awakening to the Acanthus Path. She also finds photographs of McGowan with both Sicarius and a man who resembles Gary Machin, Professor Stewart's assistant in the 1939 expedition, and one of the few survivors of the disaster. The photograph was taken in daylight, so evidently neither of them was a vampire.Stella leaves a contact number for Dr. McGowan to find.
Discussing the discovery with Lucifer shortlly thereafter, Stella learns that none of Professor Machin's descendants resemble him, that he apparently aged and died normally, and his body was buried in Egypt at his own request.
Seamus and Jacob visit the Gold Rose and go on the visitors' tour. Jacob slips away from the party long enough to hack the building's computer system and discover the location of McGowan's lab. They also discover a low-level locus in the building, a dagger found in an Anglo-Saxon treasure trove which the PPG are examining.
Seamus sends a spirit "ally" named Lodge to spy on McGowan's lab. Lodge witnesses a power surge from the Jewel which floods the minds of all present with visions of alternate realities. It also sees a fragment of the Jewel's power embed itself in McGowan's consciousness.
Seamus and Alia visit the local Changeling Grand Court and secure their assistance. They learn that the "Camazotz" are known to the Court, and are Kindred.
Armed with this information, Nick contacts the local Kindred for information for patterns of suspicious disappearances. He discovers a "hot-spot" in Camden which the Kindred cannot account for. Jason and Alia go to Camden to look into the matter.
Jacob and Seamus raid McGowan's lab at the Gold Rose to steal the Jewel, accompanied by several enforcers from the Changeling Grand Court. They come under attack by a group of three Camazotz elders, which they manage to fight off, despite the Jewel generating another power surge and flooding their minds with images of alternate realities. After a brief but intense battle, they manage to flee with the Jewel.
Hannah McGowan finds Stella's number and contacts her. She agrees to meet Stella and slips away from Evan Montcrief with the aid of Donald Li, her research assistant After a fraught discussion in a resturant, Stella manages to convince McGowan that magic is real. McGowan knows Sicarius as "Tony Ramirez", the youngest son of Sacristan's CEO, and the presumed Gary Machin as "Chris Parsons", the PA of one of the Malaysian Independent Bank's senior executives. It was Chris Parsons who recruited McGowan to the Jewel Project, almost six years ago. McGowan agrees to meet Lucifer and travels with Stella to his house, where Lucifer greets her with his usual diplomatic flair.
Jason and Alia discover an underground lair in Camden, containing a stone bath stained with blood and thick with spiritual pollution. Destroying the Camazotz neonate left on guard, they blow up the stone bath, sending an emotional shockwave through London's entire supernatural community. Sicarius, fleeing London in his Ferrari after having been notified of the attack on the Gold Rose, is particularly hard hit; he crashes the car and is taken to hospital, badly injured.
The emotional wave hits Stella, Lucifer and McGowan as well. Stella texts Jason to ask if he knows the cause.
The Temple party reunite at the Diogenes Club, a Curia Regis stronghold designed as a Sherlock Holmes homage. Lucifer probes Tom's mind and discovers memories which Mercadier suppressed. In the seventeenth century, Tom translated a book written by a Conquistador priest, describing the Camazotz bloodline and the mortal priests who ruled them, priests who used rituals of blood bathing to become immortal.
McGowan calls Machin, aka "Chris Parsons" to ask him to meet with Stella and Lucifer. Machin agrees.
Jason, Stella, and Nick meet Machin in a lock-up garage on the outskirts of London, and confront him about his past. During the conversation, Stella senses the Creator reaching out to Sicarius and discovering his injuries. The backlash from the Creator's outrage knocks Stella briefly unconscious, but not before she becomes aware that Sicarius is in Hammersmith hospital. Whilest unconscious, Stella locks her scruples and reservations in a protected corner of her mind, hopefully out of sight of the Creator.
Stella regains consciousness and informs the others of Sicarius' location. Jason decides to go there to assasinate him. Machin objects, so Jason and Nick take him to meet the Curia Regis, who convince him of the necessity of the action. Machin reluctantly agrees. He and Jason go to the hospital, where Jason manages to evade the Camazotz guards in the waiting area and get into the operating theatre to kill Sicarius. In a final display of anger and outrage, the fragment of the Creator invested in Sicarius blasts Jason back into his own universe.
Nick returns to the lock-up garage to tell Stella that Jason and Machin have gone after Sicarius. Stella says goodbye to him and sends him back to the Diogenes Club
Nick returns to the Diogenes Club, where Lucifer and Jacob are discussing the possibility of securing the Jewel in the Changelings' Fleet Tabernacle. Nick's Unseen Sense picks up the Uratha Pure pack gathering around the Club. He warns Lucifer, who begins to mobilize the Club's defences.
Stella offers herself to the Creator as a host, in exchange for the Creator programming the Device to restore her own version of Simeon Kent. The Creator accepts.
The Pure pack strike at the Diogenes Club. As the Club's defenders start to fight back, Stella, possessed by the Creator, teleports in and takes the Jewel from Jacob. Stella takes back control from the Creator just long enough to destroy the Device.
Enraged, the Creator's essence possesses Nick briefly before finally dissipating.
A magical "surge" caused by the destruction of the Device passes through the Diogenes Club. Izzy panics and tries to teleport away, throwing herself, Nick and Seamus back into the other reality.
Nick and Izzy materialize on London Bridge. Before the gate between realties can close completely, Nick texts Lucifer to tell him that Stella gave het quizzing glass to the Heart of the City, and Lucifer should seek it out if he wants to get her back.
Izzy collapses and Nick arranges for her to be taken the the Wyvern. Wyncham notifies the Consilium of the situation. Dyggvi and Alain arrive at the Wyvern and Izzy demands that they find a way to send her back.
Nick, Izzy and Alain go for a walk. Nick confides in Alain that the Creator's possession has begun the process of his Awakening, and worries about its potential effect on relations between the Mage and Kindred Poli.
Tom visits Jason Cash and asks for his assistance in transforming Nick and Mother into Purified. Cash refuses.
Monday, 10th November 2008
Dyggvi meets Alain, Tom and Caspar at the Wyvern to report a lead on the mind-remapping stone. The Guardians have established that many ofthe victims of the stone were in contact with a City Hall employee named Aiden Heath, who has now disappeared. Over the past four years, Aiden Heath received more than two hundred thousand pounds from a company that owns the Crimson Chain, a nightclub formerly owned by Marcus Lucian and now run by Diedre Monaghan, a member of the Invictus Inner Circle, on behalf of the Eagle.
Visiting the Crimson Chain, Tom, Caspar and Alain find Diedre Monaghan staked, and her office being ramsacked by three apparent clones, directed by a Mage who has assumed the form of a living shadow. After a difficult fight which leaves Alain afflicted with a Paradox-induced bestial rage, they defeat and capture the Mage and his servants.
Tuesday, 11th November 2008
The Temple meets at the Wyvern. Alain is given the go-ahead for his "Sanctuary" project, a refuge for supernaturals afflicted by the psychic re-mapping stone. Despite his passionate arguments, however, Triumvir Clavain refuses to accept the need for a closer relationship between the three Poli
Dyggvi reports that the psychic re-mapper was apparently created recently, by a powerful Mage apparently unknown to the London Consilium
Having returned to life in his own universe, Jason is approached by an Inspector Frank Davis, who wishes Jason to investigate the apparent suicide of a former colleague and mentor, Detective-Inspector Frank Thatcher, who had a serious gambling issue
Wednesday, 12th November 2008
Alain attends a briefing at the Consilium's headquarters in Canary Wharf.The Council informs him that the shadow Mage captured at the Crimson Chain has been rendered comatose bby a larva Phobovore implanted in his mind, thus establishing a definite connection between the Mages who created the psychic re-mapper and the Bosworth Conspiracy
The memories of the shadow Mage's three servants have revealed that the Mage had a base of operations in the subterranean caves housing the Fleet River. Alain, Tom, Dyggvi, Conall and Caspar decide to investigate
Entering the Fleet River tunnels, the Temple party fights its way past the undead guardians - zombies and larval vampires - and penetrates an underground lair where Nigel Greville is hiding. Under duress, Greville reveals that he and the late Marcus Lucian were both working for a conspiracy of Mages from outside London, who have been establishing a covert presence in the city for some time. He also confirms that this unknown group is working with the Bosworth Conspiracy and is recruiting disaffected members of all three Poli, as well as operating a covert surveillance and communications network under cover of London's homeless population
Breaking into the shadow Mage's Sanctum with help from the Guardians and the Arrow, Alain finds a ritual circle for creating zombies, and a collection of spell books, one of which has a strong sympathetic connection to some kind of crypt in outer London, which holds the body of a staked vampire. The book also has a weaker sympathetic connection to the British Museum and a house in Norfolk. Alain also manages to establish a brief sympathetic link to one of the Mages of the conspiracy, who threatens reprisals against Alain and his family if Alain persists in his efforts.
Having spent most of the day investigating the Davis case, Jason is approach by two children who wish to hire him to investigate the "boogie man" in their closet. More or less compelled to help them by the Changeling geas, Jason discovers some kind of rune in their closet.
Thursday, 13th November 2008
The Consilium Council identifes the crypt Alain discovered as the likely location of the "Tomb of the Unknown Sucker", a hiding place where Temple Founder Harry Lynton hid the staked body of his first Kindred victim. Alain agrees to lead an expeditionary party to find the crypt. The Council agrees to approach the other Poli for permission to search for the unknown enemy Mages in territory "claimed" by the Kindred and Uratha.
Locating the hidden crypt, the Temple party discovers that it contains not only the staked Kindred and a collection of books and magical artefacts, but also a tomb enchanted with Death magic, designed to keep its Kindred occupant in torpor. Attempting to trace the Fate associations of the place, Alain sees a vision of Harry Lynton apparently being manipulated by other, shadowy Mages, and another image of the Kindred in the tomb losing a fight with those same Mages over a book of some kind.
Opening the tomb, Alain finds the book in the Kindred's hands, and hides it.
Wyncham takes charge of the Unknown Sucker on behal of the Kindred Polis. The torpid Kindred - identified by Alain through blood association as Wyncham's "brother", a fellow childe of Mercadier - is left in his tomb
Alain studies the journal retrieved from the Tomb of the Unknown Sucker, which reveals that just before the Great Fire, two men named Samuel Kirkland and Christopher Drake stole something called the "Dee Grimoire" from the Bosworth Conspiracy. The Grimoire allegedly holds the secret to banishing or destroying the Phobovore
Magically tracing the associations from the journal, Alan and Tom find a minature of one of the Temple's Mage founders, Elizabeth Hawthorne, in the National Gallery, and conclude that she must have been secretly working for the Bosworth Conspiracy.
After extensive research and investigation, the Temple conclude that the Dee Grimoire must be hidden under a bank in Gracechurch Street - one possibly controlled by the Bosworth Conspiracy, or their allies.
August Podin returns to London. The Temple recruit him for a raid on the bank. He and Alain manage to retrieve the grimoire from beneath the vault.
Alain takes the grimoire to Tom, who deciphers it, and reveals that the Phobovore will be destroyed if the mind of its host knows of it, but sincerely believes it to be a fiction.
Jason contacts August to ask for his expertise in the boogie man case. August recognizes the symbol from a similar case in Denver several years previously. It's a hedge magic ritual designed to gather negative emotional energies and give them a semi-coherent form - as a sort of near-living weapon.
Friday, 21st November 2008
The Kindred hold a Grand Court. An elder of Milan, Sergio Constantini, applies to take up residence in London. He is pursuing the Malleus Maleficarum, who destroyed two of his childer. The Council agrees unanimously to grant his request to stay in London, but insists that his efforts against the Malleus Maleficarum be co-ordinated with theirs. Sergio agrees. He hints that the German bombing campaign in World War II may have hit the havens of so many elders thanks to assistance from the Malleus Maleficarum. Wyncham expresses skepticism that the technology of the time could have targeted the air strikes that precisely.
Felicia Truscott, a member of the Invictus Inner Circle, extends an invitation for a private meeting with Frances Rafferty to Sergio. He accepts.
When Sergio returns to his haven, he discusses Rafferty's fate with another man, "major", commenting that her Final Death shall be the first step to the Invictus retaking London.
Sunday, 23rd November 2008
Sergio holds an inconclusive meeting with Frances Rafferty. He does not reveal his plans for her fate.
Friday, 28th November 2008
House Skade host a Grand Ball, attended by all the most prominent Kindred of Britain, including the Eagle and the Shadow Archbishop of York, as well as the Temple representatives from the other Poli.
At the party, Tom debriefs Morrigan, who has begun her infiltration of the Bosworth Conspiracy. Morrigan has discovered that the Conspiracy and their allies are preparing for a decapitating stroke on the Consilium - soon. She has also discovered that Algernon Frayn, a member of the Council, is seemingly working with the conspirators.
When Tom voices his fears that news of Frayn's defection will provoke a major rift in the Kindred Polis, Jason suggests discrediting him by framing him as an associate of a group of vampire hunters. He agress to speak to a group of hunters he knows who can stage an attack which Frayn can be blamed for. Tom is concerned about the possible future threat the hunters might pose, and asks to send his own representative along as an observer. Jason agrees.
Jason overhears a group of Kindred talking. Apparently one of them has lost his Beast in a card game.
Alain meets Wilhelm Reinhardt and Owen Tyler, two members of the Kindred Ordo Dracul, who are interested in sponsoring the Sanctuary project because of the possibilities it offers to share knowledge between the three Poli.
Sergio attends the Skade Ball and meets with the Triumvirs. He expresses his contempt for Rafferty. In private conversation with Triumvir Clepsydra, he suggests that Rafferty was partially manipulating the Malleus Maleficarum and may have guided them in their own manipulation of the bombing of London, to target Kindred havens. Clepsydra expresses skepticism that Rafferty, who was then near the top of the Invictus hierarchy, would have needed to resort to such tactics.
Clepsydra also reveals that Ilia Volyova wished to execute Frances Rafferty, but relented after receiving representations from other Invictus interests on the Continent, including House Machten and House Lamia. She warns Sergio that although Rafferty is widely despised, she remains well-connected and highly influential.
Clepsydra takes Sergio to meet the Temple, who are assembled on a balcony set aside for their use.
August Podin meets Harrison Richards, a Thorned Wreath Knight, and they discuss the city's politics and their involvement with the Temple.
Izzy Blake meets Dr. Robert Knox and his associate Anwar Saleh, and strikes up a conversation. Knox tells her about his most frustrating case as Guardian of the Masquerade - the 1970s case of the comic-book "vampire" vigilante who called himself "The Nightfang", and who, despite his absurdity, managed to destroy several Kindred sent to capture him before his attacks abruptly stopped.He was never caught. Izzy volunteers to find out more about him.
Dyggvi joins them and they briefly discuss Marcus Lucian and his attack on Dyggvi. Knox points out Lucian's killer, the Gangrel Stuart Taylor.
Izzy tries to use her Fate magic to scan the gathering and gets an unexpected vision of the Phobovore and the individuals it is or might be connected with. When she tells Dyggvi, he immediately starts to take her over to the Temple's balcony. Tom joins them as they cross the room.He spots James Benedict lurking at the party disguised as a waiter, and hails him. Benedict says that he is there to resolve "unfinished business" from 1941.
Tom, Dyggvi, Izzy and Benedict go up to the Temple balcony. Clepsydra reads Benedict's mind to discover why he's there and how he got into the party. She discovers that Benedict's master, Ben Jameson, the Prince of Boston, has a group of agents called the "Admiral's Men" in London. They are Kindred whose purpose is to watch for an unspecified threat which drove Jameson to flee from London centuries before.
Alain suggests that they attempt to raw out the Bosworth Conspiracy and their allies by engineering a false schism between House Skade and the Mage Polis. Izzy suggests that House Skade could drop hints that they wish to interrogate Nick because of his counterpart's association with House Skade's ancient enemy (the Strix). Clepsydra agrees.
At the culmination of the Grand Ball, Nathaniel Donatein is inducted into the ranks of the Knights of the Thorned Wreath.
Saturday, 29th November 2008
Nick and Jason Cash approach Jacob Marley to ask for the assistance of the Changeling Courts against the Bosworth Conspiracy and their allies
That night, Nick and Izzy visit the Arctic Fox, a strip club where the Gangrel Stuart Taylor is perfoming. They see a Mage attempting to cast some kind of Fate spell on Taylor. Nick speaks briefly with the Mage, who calls herself "Anastasia"
After speaking with Taylor, they conclude that Anastasia was trying to persuade Taylor to conduct a more thorough investigation of a Kindred called Gabriel Norris, who is suspected of hunting kine in territory held by Sylvester Goldsmith, a member of the Invictus Inner Circle.
They witness Gabriel Norris attempting to provoke a fight with bouncers at a nightclub, but Izzy distracts the bouncers, and Norris leaves.
As they follow him, they meet another Mage who is also covertly tailing him, an American woman who later identifies herself as "Atlanta". Atlanta wants them that the real Norris has disappeared and that a shape-shifting Mage is impersonating him. Atlanta admits that she and an unnamed partner were using the real Norris as a local agent before his disappearance.
They follow the false Gabriel Norris to 18, Soho Square, an office building owned by Tom and rented out by a PR firm for the last seven months. Izzy pretends to be the girlfriend of one of the PR firm's executives in order to gain access to the building. After an inconclusive meeting with a late-working executive who calls himself "Porter", she leaves with a laptop that was the ostensible reason for her visit. Porter gives her a lift to a hotel nearby.
Outside the hotel, Izzy meets a "dog" who, once they're alone, reveals himself as Gabriel Thurston, a former member of the ruling Kindred Council who has recently returned to London.
Outside 18, Soho Square, Nick and Atlanta, now joined by the Kindred Sheriff Rebecca Harper, see a coffin-shaped crate taken out of the building and loaded into a van. They follow the van to its destination.
Izzy openly approaches Porter, offering to spy on the Temple and the Consilium for him in exchange, ostensibly, for his assistance in returning her to her own reality. Porter agrees to release Gabriel Norris to her.
Izzy, Thurston and Atlanta take the torpid Norris to one of Thurston's safe-houses, a magically warded lock-up garage, and revive him. Norris reveals that he was captured and telepathically probed by Porter and his fellow Mages. He tried to probe back, but was only able to discover that they call themmselves a "Pylon" and that their leader is a thin old man based on Dartmoor.
Izzy meets Nick and - to the surprise of both of them - Tom on Parliament Hill, where she relates what she has learned.
Sunday, 30th November 2008
The Temple meets. They discuss how to reinforce Izzy's credibility with Porter. They decide to allow her to reveal that they're aware of Algernon Frayn's defection to the Seer cause. Izzy will "reveal" to Porter that the Temple intend to use Frayn to feed the Seers false intelligence. The "false" story to be given to Frayn will be that the Temple will be moving the Dee Grimoire to a new, secure location. The "real" story will be that the Temple hope to trap any Seer agents sent to capture the Grimoire.
Later that night, Izzy meets Porter and feeds him the false story. Porter reveals that the Seers intend to take over the Consilium and subordinate the Uratha and Kindred as well. Once that has been accomplished, they intend to break their alliance with the Bosworths and banish the Phobovore. He decides to send "expendable" Bosworth conspirators into the planned ambush.
Monday, 1st December 2008
Inspector Frank Davis comes upon an apparent suicide of a young woman who jumped from a building. She was carrying a picture of a baby and a note: I'M SORRY MUM, I COULDN'T WIN HER BACK. He is struck by the similarity of the phrasing with Inspector Thatcher's, before his apparent suicide.
His discusses the case with Ash Lincoln, who is in charge of it. Ash suspects a supernatural connection with the suicide, but doesn't reveal his suspicions to Davis, Concerned that Davis is getting in over his head, however, he tails Davis to Jason's office, and watches him hand the file on the case over to Jason.
He confronts Jason. After more-or-less admitting that he's aware of the existence of the supernatural, he agrees to help Jason look into illegal gambling games being run in London.
That evening, Jason visits Caspar Van Lutyens to ask for his help with the case. Caspar agrees to assist, and calls a Temple meeting to raise the matter.
The Four Who Rule meet at the Fleet Tabernacle. The White Queen expresses reservations about the wisdom of establishing a relationship with the Three Poli - particularly the Kindred. The Four agree to approach the Glasgow Canton of the Court of the Far Isles, which has had a relationship with the Kindred for years, for advice in dealing with them, and preferrably, an experienced diplomatic advisor.
Tuesday, 2nd December 2008
In Alterna, Seamus Lockheart is watching an alleyway which the Mages have identified as one of the last remaining breach points between the two realities. He is ambushed by his brother, Sean, who kills Hunaman, the Mage Seamus is working with. During the course of the battle, the fall through the reality rift into the Primus reality
They are met by Jonathon, Seamus' partner, and Jacob Marley. Jacob drives Seamus to the Wyvern to consult with the Temple. They find Alain and Nick preparing to "flee" London to Alain's farmhouse on Bodmin Moor. Seamus and Jonathan decide to accompany them.
Wednesday, 3rd December 2008
Harry Marchment reports to Caspar that Vukasin Ostrozinska, an ex-pat Serb living in London, may in reality be a wanted war criminal named Josif Marinkovic, who might be linked to the Sullivan deck in some way.
Caspar raises the matter of Marinkovic with the Temple, who are unable to offer any useful information but are happy for him to pursue the matter.
Thursday, 4th December 2008
Diana Clifford, the Alpha of the Midnight Garden pack, meets Ash Lincoln at Caspar's request, and passes him the information on Marinkovic. Ash takes the file to Jason.
Nick, Alain, Seamus and Jonathan arrive at Alain's farmhouse. They discover the dead body of Roger Hudson, Alain's estate manager, killed by some sort of magical force which has left a taint around periphery of the house's magical defences.
Maggie Steele, a Fairest diplomat in the Glasgow Court, meets Skye MacGregor, the leader of the Glasgow Court, at the Underworld nightclub in Glasgow. Skye asks Maggie to relocate to London to assist the Grand Court in establishing a relationship with the Kindred. They are joined by the Prioress, the Kindred Prince of Glasgow, and Ian Buchanan, an Invictus elder who is an ally of Maggie's and has also agreed to relocate to London to bolster the First Estate's presence there.
Friday, 5th December 2008
Alain's farmhouse is attacked by the same spirits that killed Roger Hudson. Nick believes that they are spirits of cold, hunger and fear, originally formed from images of prehistoric cave lions. He and Alain manage to drive them off when Alain deduces their Ban - they cannot attack anyone whose blood has touched them. Alain manages to trace the direction of their retreat and gets a vision of a crumbling Victorian mansion to the south-east.
Nick, Alain, Seamus and Jonathan arrive at Alain's farmhouse. They discover the dead body of Roger Hudson, Alain's estate manager, killed by some sort of magical force which has left a taint around periphery of the house's magical defences.
Nick calls Sophia Franklyn, the Eagle's right-hand Invictus Knight, who recognizes his description of the mansion as Cawston Priory, a location that Poet, James Benedict and Isabelle Farnsworth investigated inconclusively in the 1940s.
Sophia arranges for them to talk with Donatein and Poet. Poet confirms that Cawston Priory was troubled by spirits who preyed on the wounded housed there during its time as a hospital during World War Two, but that he and his group never located the Mage who was based there. He also relates the discovery of Rafferty's dead agent and the fact that he was carrying forged bank notes with oddly coded serial numbers.
Alain, Donatein, Seamus and Nick go to Cawston Priory. The caretaker in residence proves to be an elderly Seer who attempts to flee but is rendered unconscious and brain-damaged by a Paradox backlash when he tries to use magic against Allain and Nick. Donatein and Seamus discover three homeless street kids who have been kidnapped by the Seer and used to "feed" his servant spirits with their fear.
A backup team from the Adamantine Arrow arrives and takes the Seer into custody and the three homeless kids into care.
Back in London, Riley Dale, a satyr broadback and actor, is poisoned. His attacker fakes evidence of a suicide.
Saturday, 6th December 2008
The Green Rider goes to see Jacob Marley and asks him to investigate Riley Dale's poisoning
Jacob goes to the hospital and uses the magical video game interface taken from the Mages to communicate with the unconscious Riley Dale. He discovers that the poisoning was committed by a literal "ice maiden", who Riley strongly suspects is a True Fae. Riley Dale revives and Jacob manages to get him out of the hospital. They go to the Wyvern for sanctuary.
Sunday, 7th December 2008
Thomas Wyncham leaks the false story of the Dee Grimoire being transported to a new location at a Kindred Council meeting at the London Eye.
Later that night, a group of Bosworth conspirators attack the truck supposedly containing the Dee Grimoire. They are surprised when the driver and guards turn out to be zombies. The Bosworths fall victim to an anaesthetic gas attack while their attention is focussed on dealing with the zombies.
Maggie and Ian meet Edgar Sinclair, the White Rider, and Jacob Marley next to the London eye.
Alia Legrasse, the Green Rider, takes the White Queen to Mike's Pub to allow her to experience Donatein's playing and convince her that the Kindred do have higher emotions and artistic sensibilities. They are joined there by Maggie Steele and Jacob Marley.
Donatein approaches their party. They have a slightly tense discussion about the changelings' wish to join the Temple. Donatein offers to take them to see the Triumvirs.
Thomas Wyncham visits the British Museum and informs the Triumvirs that he will support the Changelings' application for Temple membership, assuming that they can demonstrate sufficient power to justify it. The Triumvirs oppose the idea
The White Queen, Jacob and Maggie arrive at the Library and present their case for membership of the Temple.
The Triumvirs suggest using their torpid Hand, Don Leon, as bait in a trap for the Seers. By leaking his supposed location through Karde, they hope to lure at least a portion of the Seers' forces out of hiding, reasoning that the Seers will not be able to pass up an opportunity to strike at one of their most formidable opponents, House Skade
Wyncham suggests that rather than using Don Leon as bait, they persuade Wayland's Smithy to "loan" them Robert de Courcey, reasoning that the Seers will be able to use magc to sense the presence of a torpid Kindred but not determine his identity. Jacob and Maggie agree to undertake negotiations with Wayland's Smithy, as a gesture of good faith.
Monday, 8th December 2008
Jacob and Maggie meet with Sir Frederick Dalton and persuade him to "loan" them de Courcey. Dalton agrees provided that the Smithy can send its own observer along with de Courcey.
Porter meets Izzy Blake. He shows her video footage of the ambush, and asks her to discover the whereabouts of the "Caretaker" from Cawston Priory. He admits that the Caretaker is the leader of the Seers' Pylon and the original architect of their takeover strategy
Izzy visits the Wyvern and relates Porter's request to Thomas Wyncham.
Tuesday, 9th December 2008
Ben Foster brings de Courcey to London in a reinforced steel coffin that has been rigged with explosives. De Courcey is installed in Don Leon's tomb.
Thomas Wyncham arranges for the three teenagers who Alain rescued from Cawston Priory to observe Don Leon's tomb via a remote video link, to increase the chance that any attacking Mage will be caught in a Paradox backlash
A group of three Mages teleport into Don Leon's tomb and are ambushed by Maggie, Jacob and Donatein. Another group of Mages moves to assist from outside the tomb.
Wednesday, 10th December 2008
Atlanta visits the Wyvern. As a gesture of good faith, she shares a portion of her memories with Izzy. She reveals that she's acting as a broker for Gabriel Thurston, who want to establish his faction, the Sun-Walking Knights, in London. The Knights are willing to provide "muscle" against the Seers in exchange for a position amongst the Kindred. Izzy and Atlanta conceive a plan to use the Caretaker as bait to lure the Seers into a trap
Thursday, 11th December 2008
Porter makes contact with Izzy, and tells her that he's received information that the Caretaker is being held inside House Skade. Izzy tells him that she will visit House Skade and find out
The ancient immortal, "John Black", visits Tom and warns him that the plan to destroy the Phobovore will weaken Britain's defences against various ancient supernatural threats. Tom agrees to call a Temple meeting to raise the issue.
Izzy arrives at the British Museum. She asks the Triumvirs to alter her memories temporarily so that she genuinely believes herself to be betraying the Temple, so that she can lure Porter into a trap - an ambush at Greenwich Observatory, where the Caretaker is supposedly being held - without any chance that his Mind magic will detect her deception. The Triumvirs agree to help. Izzy gives them a code word - Bish - that should act as a trigger to restore her true self, having already given this code word to Thurston and Atlanta.
Friday, 12th December 2008
Porter's group attacks the Greenwich Observatory and are ambushed by Gabriel Thurston's followers and Morrigan, while Donatein uses Obfuscate to impersonate the caretaker and kills Porter - the Seer whose shadow name is Porthos - while Izzy neutralises his counterpart d'Artagnan. Outside the observatory, Morrigan thwarts the Bosworths' attempt to summon the Phobovore.
The Kindred Council attempts to capture Algernon Frayn, but he has already fled to the protection of the one remaining Seer, Athos.
The Kindred Council meets at the London Eye, unaware that Frayn has sent an assassin with a rocket launcher to attack their capsule from the Thames. Morrigan sends a telepathic warning to Wyncham, who calls Nick for help. Nick, Seamus and Alain intercept the boat carrying the assassins on the Thames, and sink it before the missile is fired.
The Consilium Council use the sympathetic Fate connections forged between Alain and Athos during the affair of the remapping stone to trace Athos. The discover that he's fleeing to Southampton.
Seamus, Alain and Nick intercept Athos en route to Southampton, by engineering a massive traffic jam that traps him in gridlock