ChapterHouse

From the Journal of James Watie: Not All Bad Ideas Are Mine

Aug. 11: It is interesting when our plans move more towards the normal end of life. William and Aldo went to their respective jobs, and Sergei and I posted up outside the London Museum. Sergei decided that being on the rooftop as a chimney sweep(while it was raining) was his perch of choice, while I stayed at a nice cafe across the street. I can understand his choice from a tactical sense, but this is one red-man who has had quite enough of sitting in the rain waiting for things to happen for one lifetime, thank you very much.

Willy set the ’buyer’s trap’ with his boss (They MAY be authentic, but there are enough discrepancies for me to recommend selling them). And then, in a stroke of ‘brilliance,’ he decided that maybe WE should use the stones to summon Urial to, you know, ask some questions.

I was against this idea.

Prof. Poole had some insight (could be good, could be bad), but left the choice to us. That seems to be his MO; he is pretty hands-off. I was in companies in the war that were similar in leadership; if a leader is not forceful and focused, it is usually better to leave it up to the smaller groups to manage. Willy hit the CH ‘special reserve’ library and found some of Warburton’s writing on using the stones to communicate rather than summon an angel. I am MUCH more up for this idea (which I had recommended earlier and was relieved that it was possible. The only time I want to be in the physical presence of the divine is when some bastard finally lands the lucky shot that kills me). As this requires fasting and purification, Willy begins to prep for the ritual.

As an aside, Sergei comes up with a WONDERFUL idea: perhaps we should start a reputable side-business? We think a bit and toss around the idea of a private investigations firm. Having a contact in Scotland Yard already, this could be a lucrative means of making money for the CH and scouting for new recruits as well!

Aug. 12: A quick note on London weather. Rain I can understand. But the FOG! It is a wonder that there is not more morning crime in this city; running away is pretty easy if you know the lay-of-the-land and have near zero visibility for pursuers!

Sergei asked Prof. Poole about possible contacts we have. The lovely Romani lady, Madame Stanica is one, as is a Father Delaney, a priest of some repute at Westminster Abbey (and a member of ’the other London CH"). Poole explained the rift between the two London CHs comes from the religious split that occurred during the reign of Henry VIII. This once again proves my theory; white people have so much spare time that they can afford to hold grudges for 500 years. The more current reasoning is that our house is more pro-active (and has higher membership turn-around as a result), whereas their house is more research-based (I guess there is some way to read a drowner back into the water).

That evening we ventured back to the museum. Willy detected magic in the general area we would be attempting the summoning, and found a VERY strong pull coming from the Egyptian wing upstairs. Mr. Birch, the head Egyptologist at the museum, had an original copy of something called “The Book of the Dead.” Judging from Willy’s reaction, this must be significant. Once again, this makes me leery of reading. My people did not have a written language (for the most part). Something else we did not have was a possible apocalyptic scenario occurring, several being averted in the past, and a possible one being guarded by a curious old man and his extremely attractive lab assistant (Sophia, whom we met in the hall and Sergei noticed was not burdened by a wedding band).

We moved to the summoning room (well-disguised as a storage/prep room). Aldo posted up across the room with the Winny and I guarded the door. Willy and Sergei began the summoning (which I not doubt the need for fasting. Sergei helped on this, and he and ate WELL all day). At one point I had to sprint over and steady the crystal orb on the stone, but Sergei figured out a non-mentioned part of the ritual used to do so mystically.

A spectral image of the Archangel Urial appears. Internally, I am reinforced by the idea that we should NOT be doing this. After getting an oath from Willy and Sergei to do three good deeds for the children of London (who are in danger, according to Urial), he mentions to us that the stones are used only for communications, but enough of them brought together and studied could be used to learn how to summon. Willy warns him of the possibility of his upcoming involvement. Not a ton of help, but Willy was going to be useless until he got to try this.

We head back to the CH to speak to Prof. Poole. Willy prompts him to speak of the actual summoning he and Warburton performed on Raphael. In the ritual, they used personal blood sacrifice, a holy dagger from a local church, and, most importantly, SQUARE stones. Ours are disks. Warburton had cracked the means to make such summoning stones (WHY DO THESE PEOPLE KEEP DOING THIS OUT OF SIMPLE CURIOSITY! GET A PUPPY OR SOMETHING!). Sergei and Willy remembered that Warburton’s chimneys at his house were approximately the right size for such stones, so we left to check this lead out.

After a bit of lockpicking by Sergei and Aldo, we venture into Warburton’s house. As we assumed, detect magic had been blocked on the ground floor (we later found the magical knick-knack performing this act, a statuette of Hermes, for Aldo to play with). The chimney was trapped twice; an older one original to the structure, and a newer acid trap that Sergei disabled and salvaged. In the associated space, we found an imprint of the stone in the furnace-ash, with one crucial area smoothed out by a business card bearing the Enochian symbol for Prometheus. Someone beat ALL of us to it, and was sure to leave a little present for all comers. Pretty classy, actually. Upon further searching, we also find two extra journals by Warburton (Willy almost started reading them RIGHT THERE. He needs to find a woman, or at least a good book about one).

Outside we got jumped by a group lying in wait for us. The leader wore a half-mask, but seemed familiar to Willy. Regardless, it looked to be a tough fight (two thugs had firearms), until a group of Scottish gangers decided to answer Sergei’s call for assistance. It rapidly went from a fight to a full-scale brawl, with their leader running away from the battle. We chased him to no avail, with Sergei noticing that he used the same ability to manipulate light and darkness that he has in order to escape. He did so, but not before leading us to the very same gentleman’s club that Willy belongs to!

We move in and, in what has to be the LEAST SURPRISING MOMENT OF MY LIFE, find our culprit; Edward la Salle. He banters with Willy a bit, mentioning that he has an engagement at the museum tomorrow. He and Willy schedule a ‘friendly duel’ after the museum deal, and we head back to drink with our new Scottish friends. The gentlemen of the McLeod clan are excellent examples of people who read less and do more. Aldo left them his personal card for later contact (another possible recruitment vector), and we headed to our respective abodes.

All of this, the trips, the intrigue, ALL OF IT, could of been prevented if Sergei and I had sneaked into la Salle’s house, stuck sharp objects into him until he stopped squirming, and then went out for Chinese food. Civilization seems to be designed primarily to prevent anything being done in a timely manner.

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Mandis13

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