The Dark Corners of the Earth: The Story So Far ... ––– 1868

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London, January 1868[edit]

03 Jan 1868 - Mini Game: Darya-ye-Nor - In which we stay the balance of the Christmas holidays in Ireland and return to England to news both interesting and perplexing.

13-18 Jan 1868 - At the Queen's Reception - The investigation and preparation for a State Reception of a rare jewel from India continues. The day arrives and surprises are had.

London and Trieste, January/February 1868[edit]

18 Jan 1868 - Pachyderm & Packet - The heist is foiled and our heroes enjoy a fortnight's break before being assigned the mission to transfer funds to Napier in Abyssina. We cross the Continent for Trieste and are reunited with our Russian ally from Ireland.

Egypt, February 1868[edit]

20 February 1868 - Ruins and Foreign Shores - We put to port in Alexandria and use our connections to attend a party to celebrate the archaelogical dig just outside the city, where we make the acquaintance of a scholar/librarian, Miss Rebecca Spencer. Local politics dampen the festivities and Flora and Katherine are kidnapped in a subsequent moonlight tour of the dig. Alexi and Ezekiel use their extrasensory and religious talents to discover the whereabouts of the women while Bertie takes the direct physical approach and pursues one set of kidnappers by raft up the Nile. The findings are grim. The route Katherine's captors have taken is a magical one, involving a portal opened by the human sacrifice of four workers from the dig. The vision Ezekiel receives of Katherine's fate is one of knives and blood, of the followers of Set. Alexi's powers suggest Flora's fate may be less inimical--pillows and cats and comfort are what he gleans. Ezekiel falls to his knees and prays for guidance from the Lord and in response, a flash of blinding light erupts over him, instantly stunning all non-Christians to unconsciousness. We emerge from the dig to find everyone working there asleep in their tracks. Any help we expected to gain from them in our pursuit of the kidnappers is gone.

20 February 1868 - Pursuit and Recovery - We find a woman amongst the unconscious workers. Her name is Fatima. She is mysterious and mystic and despite the distrust of some of our party, proves very helpful in our search for Flora and Katherine. While we chase down leads in the daylight hours, Bertie takes to the halls of government to gain aid--by genteel blackmail if necessary--and sends off a rather forceful letter to England. Alexi makes improvements on his boat to allow it to go over land. It is soon put to the test when we steam upriver and hit a sandbar on our way toward Elephantine where we believe Katherine is being held prisoner. The boat performs wonderfully, getting us over the snag. Three days later, a team of catmen sneak aboard the boat under cover of darkness and Bertie and Ezekiel defend the boat. Rebecca uses rune magic to freeze the opponents but unintentionally freezes our party as well. Fatima executes a light spell to illuminate everything while Rebecca unfreezes our party. Alexi shows up after the battle is over with his Hussar bodyguards just in time to see Bertie questioning one of the two surviving beastmen. Under questioning the beastman admits he and the others were sent to steal Evie to bring her to Flora. Before we can continue with our questioning, he breaks away and impales himself on a conveniently sharp object. The other beastman is killed and tossed over the side. We sail on and after passing an island in the night, we spy a boat following in our wake when day breaks and to our compleate surprise, we see Flora is aboard--riding in Cleopatran splendor on pillows and rose petals. Alexi is unwilling to stop to take Flora on and Bertie yells over the railing at Flora to catch up, woman! When we reach our destination, Alexi sends the boat walking out of the water and uses it as a battering ram to breach the walls of the temple at Elephantine. Once inside, he fires all canons into it. Fatima throws chain lightning at the temple's defenders and Rebecca throws a chaos spell to further flummox the foe. Katherine is found choking her captors with her fetters' chains. It is a rout and Katherine is rescued. Fatima makes a beline to a demolished statue and there in the crumbled rock is something that looks like a dagger--Fatima warns everyone that it is evil, the Tooth of Set, and we have to pull it free with kitchen tongs to avoid contact. Rebecca finds a jewel casket to put the artefact in and tells Fatima to keep the Tooth--it is hers as part of her country's heritage. Fatima puts the dagger in the casket, closes it up, and sets about putting multiple wards on the box. Mwanwhile Bertie races back and 'rescues' Flora who arrives at the rear of our party. Alexi fires up the engines and walks his boat-cum-Russian-tank out of the rubble, the hero of the day.

Italy, March 1868[edit]

March 06, 1868 - Inquisition & Acquistion - We have ridden the Nile to the Mediterranean on the Odyssey and our first night on the open sea is broken by a scream from Rebecca's cabin. We rush to her aid to find her spread frozen in bed with the Tooth of Set floating above her. It has put her into a magical coma and we cannot revive her. We get the Tooth back in the box and chart our best course to the nearest mage or thaumaturge capable of undoing the spell. Alexi has heard of mages who can break the spell and he tells us they can be found at Apulia or Corfu. Bertie refuses Corfu because it's in Russian hands and England is still embroiled in the Crimean War with Russia. Apulia is also reputed to be the stronghold of the notorious Guiseppe Garibaldi but since he's already fought the Prussians, Apulia is marginally safer. And marginally is the operative word. Instead of getting imprisoned by Russians on Corfu, we get detained by the Church on Apulia and Ezekiel is singled out as a Jesuit heretic by the Inquisition. For five days he is questioned and tortured by escalating degrees and Katherine is frantic. And we somehow find someone able to release Rebecca from her coma. In the middle of all this, Garibaldi arrives from campaigning abroad and the island arranges for a gala to welcome him. In a ploy to gain money to ransom Ezekiel's release, Bertie has Evie and Char steal a portion of Garibaldi's war loot at one end of Garibaldi's stronghold whilst Bertie entertains Garibaldi at the other end. Gems and jewelry and coin go out the windwo by the sacksful. Evie is successful and Ezekiel is ransomed. The bulk of the haul ends up in the Church's hands but Evie is able to stash over a thousand pounds worth of gems for herself. Ezekiel limps back to our boat, his foot compressed by the Boot but not crushed, branded with a cross on his forehead, but little else injured. Katherine heals him and we leave Apulia before Garibaldi discovers his loss. We set our course for Venice. Bertie has discovered certain glassmakers on the island of Murano can make amulets to cast illusions over the wearer. He plans to put in at Venice to replace the amulet that Flora has lost in Egypt.

25 March 1868 - High Times in Venice - We put in to port at Venice and stay with Countess Scarpelli's parents. Bertie has heard he can get a magic amulet for Flora to replace the one she lost in Egypt, so as to restore her human appearance again. While there, a Monseignor of the Roman Catholic Church and the Grand Turk hold an outdoor court, wherein plenary indulgences are sold and audience with the Grand Turk is allowed. Bertie purchases several indulgences and even Josephine buys one. Chaos ensues when terrorists attack the court. They have a bomb but Rebecca throws a cage spell over it to contain it. It blows and the muffled explosion knocks Ezekiel down and out. We engage the terrorists. Bertie, Josephine, and Katherine keep them busy until the Italian Police arrive. They detain all of us for questioning but Bertie's silver tongue gets us out of trouble. We are allowed to leave.

Before we leave Venice, Josephine telegrams the Colonel the report of what's happened and he telegrams back with orders: Bring Countess Scarpelli to stay with Bertie for the Season, Bring back Rebecca Spenser with the dagger, Dionysius will meet us on English soil to take possession of the dagger for safe keeping elsewhere. Bertie gets the magical amulet for Flora made by the Murano artisans and Flora's human illusion is restored. Two days later, we are ready to leave and the Scarpellis loan us a couple of carriages so we can take the train out of Genoa.

We cross Europe over several days and board a boat to Plymouth. Once disembarked on good English soil, Dionysius is waiting for us with three carriages for our party. He takes possession of box with the dagger. He arranges to teach Evie proper comportment and bespells an amulet much like Flora's so she can look human. Evie pays him 1000 pounds' worth of her Garibaldi haul for a talisman that will maintain the illusion.

English Newspaper News

  • Prince Kalashnikov has begun collaboration on a flying machine project in Paris, France, further cementing Franco-Russo relations.

More News

London, April 1868[edit]

April 10, 1868 - London Town, Zombie Town - Evie runs afoul of a powerful Underworld figure over her Garibaldi fortune and zombies walk in foggy London Town

  • April 25, 1868 - Faces of the Lord - Katherine and Ezekiel ponder the nature of good and evil

London, May 1868[edit]

May 15, 1868 - Fighting for Respect, Fishing for Treasure - A fight breaks out at the Royal Society presentation of Mdm. Selene Dashwood's monograph of scientific research into cellular life strands and Evie takes our party of adventurers into the sewers off the Embankment in search of murderous fishmen and possibly golden treasure.
May 15, 1868 - A Legacy of Atlantis - Our party goes deeper into the sewers beneath London, encounter more fishmen with illusion spells, recover an ancient manuscript with arcane powers, and Rebecca unwittingly sends a priest of the Old Gods to his doom. Dionysius capitalizes on the treasure, as does Evie. Rebecca receives a harsh dressing down. Josephine takes possession of the manuscript for safekeeping and everyone quits the sewers with stories of an ancient Atlantian race and knowledge that the Old Gods seek to return.

May 22, 1868 - Odds and Ends - Dionysius Beignet resigns as the Fleming-Drake butler to pursue a career as a consulting thaumaturge. Unwilling to lose him completely, Katherine and Ezekiel retain his services as their financial manager. Fences are mended and new arrangements are proposed at a dinner party hosted by Ezekiel and Katherine. Evie is persuaded to allow Rebecca to take a sensate reading of her recurring nightmares to ascertain if she is being tormented by supernatural agents and the results has her in the clear. Rebecca and Josephine shake off a couple of tails on their cab ride home and Josephine luckily reconsiders the wisdom of confronting the unknown followers. Instead, she takes herself and Rebecca to the Diogenes Club to inform the Colonel what has happened. Josephine is ordered to surrender the artifact in her keeping before admittance and she is put up for the night in visitors' quarters. Rebecca is sent home with two Homeguards as escort and bodyguards. The following day, Rebecca and Dionysius visit Throckmorton over the Atlantian artifact and examine it at the Diogenes Club. Josephine returns home to find it thoroughly sacked. Evie and Katherine set out to shop for gowns for an upcoming ball and see Prince Alexi Kalashnikov's showy arrival at Big Ben in his derrigible. Katherine convinces the security at Whitehall not to arrest him and Alexi gives her and Evie a ride back to the Fleming-Drake estate aboard his airship.

May 25, 1868 - What Happened At The Ball, Part One - Flora is increasingly troubled by blackmail notes she has apparently written to herself, followed by attempted kidnappings and suicides--all apparently self-inflicted. A seance over one of the notes during a dinner party at Katherine and Ezekiel's has the Goddess Bast deliver a warning that she is in terrible danger. Meanwhile, an investigation by a third party into Flora's orgins is afoot, Josephine encounters a gnome named Wescott asking about the burlary of her home, and Alexi sells back the rights to the Egyptian dig to Rebecca for the price of a single kiss. When the night for the ball arrives 2 days later, our party shows in their respective costumes and illusions, Alexi makes his grand entrance, Selene Saulnier is seen conversing with Col. Fleming; shortly before he is found horribley slashed to ribbons near death upstairs of the ballroom. Dionysius takes charge of the investigation and the culprit is deduced, though not actually found.
May 27, 1868 - What Happened At the Ball, Part Two - The investigation continues, an heir is found, another heir is created, and a long-standing grievance nears resolution and vindication.

May 27, 1868 - At Odds And Ends - Josephine and Evie visit Katherine and Ezekiel's estate where a surprise arrival of the Princess Royal's hunting party leads Ezekiel to issue a challenge to the 8th Duke of Leeds.

Wales and England, May-June 1868[edit]

May 29, 1868 - A Ruse in Wales - Josephine investigates the source of her father's letter in Wales and discovers a trap has been set for her by the Thule Society. Alexi unveils an ingenious double decker omnibus-style train. Rebecca undergoes some distress over courtship rituals even as she plans to find the second half of the Atlantian Manuscript (reputed to be in Wales) at the reccomendation of Thaumaturgist (and Oxford Don) Throckmorton. Meanwhile, Katherine, Ezekiel, and the Colonel prepare to journey north to Yorkshire with Selene Dashwood and Hanny Saulnier. They will recuperate on the Fleming estate and watch over the hatching of Selene's dragon egg.

May 29, 1868 - Storming The Castle - Throckmorton is viciously bludgeoned to death on a London train platform by dwarves in an attempt to steal the Atlantian manuscript, an attack by ice creatures and the Scottish pretender to the throne (backed by the French) is mounted against Col. Fleming's manor in Yorkshire, and Selene Dashwood achieves her crowning triumph when her dragon hatches and saves the day.

June 01, 1868 - Fishing Expedition - During the day, we are tailed by a small party of revenue officers. Later on, they attack Alexi's train to seize it for the Duke of Leeds, who has land nearby. A battle is fought on the train and off it, and Christopher Ashmore acquits himself handily in our defense. Free to continue on toward the coast, we do not linger after the battle but move on, arriving on the evening of the 3rd of June. * Under the moonlight, the island of Avalon appears off the coast of Wales. However, magic and music lure Flora into a fairy barrow nearby while Billy and Pop give chase. Once inside the barrow, Flora is transformed into a dryad protectress of the pixies who live there. Rebecca and Ashmore become better friends while Evie climbs the seacliff by moonlight. As she's clinging to the cliff, Evie spots Fishmen coming up from the water to the shore and calls out the alarm. She's captured in a bubble and taken to the caves on the island and the rest of the party mount a rescue. The Fishmen try their now-familiar ploys of illusion. Again, Ashmore proves valuable through his use of demon-controlling magic and Rebecca uses her rune magic as well. The party splits up and works together until the Fishmen are vanquished and everyone is reunited. * Once back on the mainland, Evie and Flora strike a deal with the pixies. Flora is returned to her Eldren form with Dryad wings, the curse transforming her into a cat now broken. Evie is permanantly transformed into an Eldren on the condition that she return the every other year for a single moon to serve as the protectress of the pixie barrow, alternating with Flora for the duty. In exchange, Evie will have the normal lifespan of an Eldren and no longer be a beastie. Josephine entreats Evie to consider carefully about what such a bargain would mean, but realizing Evie is set on her course of action, Josephine does not stand in her partner's way.

Yorkshire, England, Oct 1868[edit]

  • October 27, 1868 - October Babies - (RP: Katherine, Ezekiel, and Miriam)

London, England and St. Petersburg, Russia, Nov-Dec 1868[edit]

November 17, 1868 - Endings and Beginnings

Since any campaign is a collaborative effort, the links to all the Journal and RP entries by our players as well as synopses of the games can be accessed here.
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