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-Chapter Twenty-Three: The Diary of Mrs. Thistle, Sep.-Dec. 1888

In which knowledge of the past gives way to knowledge of the future.

A Chronicle of Private Events[]

In her mind it would always be THE case. They had seldom heard it mentioned under any other name.


Mrs. Margaret Thistle, Sir Eli Storm and Rev. Dr. Thomas Lambeth-Reede are summoned to tea by the Princess Imperial. She informs them that The Empire has requested their presence in London. A murder has taken place and their own investigations have hit a standstill. A specific request was made for Mrs. Thistle, and for her to be accompanied by Sir Eli and Dr. Lambeth-Reede. The Princess hints at promotions and position to be given to all of them should they succeed.


The Investigators are sent aboard The Astoria, a fast ship to London, along with Governor Arthur Holmwood who is to attend a remembrance ceremony and "transatlantic partnership" meetings. Also aboard the ship:


Dr. Qunicy Courtright approaches Dr. Lambeth-Reede and Mrs. Thistle offering them position with his Organization. He offers Lambeth-Reede blood and service, and Mrs. Thistle ego boosts and cold, hard cash. Both are tempted and both refuse. Sen. Conkling is implicated as a member of Dr. Courtright's organization. When Colin Furgus tells Courtright that his old enemy Eli Storm is on board, Courtight tells him to arrange an accident. This exchange is overheard by the slight pointy ears of Dr. Lambeth-Reede.


"Now, boy, this is MY room. That ain't polite." --Eli Storm Colin Furgus attempts to break into Storm's room, only to discover that Storm is up waiting for him, shooting him three times through the door. Dr. Lambeth-Reede mops up the blood, and they dispose of the body by throwing it overboard.


The ship arrives in London, met by Ambassador Tumblety and Quentin Morris-Hill. Tumblety takes the governors, while the investigators are taken my Morris-Hill to Hill's Crown. Along the way, Morris-Hill gives them some very basic information about the case they will investigate--the Murder of Polly Nichols.


The Investigators arrive at Hill's Crown to speak with Cyril Morris-Hill and Sir Thomas St. James. The Morris-Hill boys and Sir Thomas explain the details of the case:

  • Nichols was a prostitute, a divorced mother of five, and a destitute woman.
  • She was viciously murdered on Buck's Row in Whitechapel only 150 yards away from London Royal Hospital. Her body was mutilated.
  • She was an "acquaintance" of Prince Edgar, who devotes much of his time to the well being of the lower classes in Whitechapel.
  • The original investigator on the case, Robert Anderson, was sent to Vienna at the Empire's request. A new investigator is going to be pulled in from A branch to H branch.
  • The Conclave of Death was unable to give the Empire any answers on this case, despite a great deal of experience.
  • A prominent suspect, "Leather Apron," has been ruled out as a suspect by Prince Edgar, who is friendly with the Changeling in question.
  • There is a growing Wound in the surface of the world where she was killed. They've never seen anything like it.

Prince Edgar is insistent that this murderer can be caught quickly and so the Morris-Hills and Sir Thomas are trying everything to appease him.


Edgar meets with the investigators briefly before they leave, using their Christian names, doing away with propriety and generally praising the classless system of America. He demands the name of the murderer before the end of summer. They are ushered away from the royal presence and taken to Brandywine, Quentin Morris-Hill's Hollow which he is graciously giving to the investigators for the length of their stay. Cyril also gives them Grumpkus, his pet goblin.


The investigators are woken up bright and early by the Morris-Hills. Another murder has taken place. They are rushed to the scene of the crime.

  • Prince Edgar is already on-hand. He is fairly angry and demands a solution to be found quickly. Mrs. Thistle manages to convince him to leave.
  • The body is badly mutilated. Her throat has been cut from left to right (implying a right-handed murderer).
  • Large splatters of blood are everywhere.
  • Her intestines have been pulled out (but not severed) and drape over her shoulder.
  • Her tongue is swollen, implying poison or illness.
  • She is missing internal organs. Based on the collapse of her stomach cavity, Mrs. Thistle surmises, she's missing both kidneys and her uterus.

Mrs. Thistle is introduced to Inspector Abberline, who quickly takes a dislike to being bossed around and out-thought by a woman.


Sir Eli talks to a local horse who implies that the murderer was a tall man, wearing a deerstalker hat. Dr. Lambeth-Reede discovers a new wound has opened under this victim. He is able to use the spirits touch to see the murder including the use of Brass Equipment. Mrs. Thistle meets with Dr. Thomas Bond and Joe Chandler of H division, finding that Bond is convinced the crime is a "sexual mania" and that Chandler may have used Magic to find the bodies.


London is descending into a state of panic. Two more murders take place, a man shot under suspicion and a woman slashed to death, but neither are actually related to the case. George Lusk, a local businessman, has organized a "Whitechapel Vigilance Committee" to protect the neighborhood and hunt the murderer down. His help is not appreciated by the police nor Mrs. Thistle. Mrs. Thistle confronts Joe Chandler about his "magic" and he promises to get her a meeting which the actual Magic-user in the family, his mother.


The Investigators head to The Cavern to meet with The Conclave of Death. They are welcomed by Lord Vallum who introduces them to The Thane of Cawdor and D'Onston, the court graverobber. After some interrogation D'Onston imparts the following knowledge:

  • The woman’s soul was removed. All humans have a soul hidden within them, perhaps in their spleen.
  • Whoever did this has either stolen or destroyed their soul, as he could not summon their ghost to interrogate them.
  • He has have never seen anything like the wounds before. They drop immediately into the deepest parts of the Hedge.
  • The person who killed those women had Magical talent. And some connection to the wyrd.
  • He knows nothing about the brass devices, but sugests they head to Knockturn Alley to talk to The Clockwork Merchant.


At Knockturn Alley, the investigators learn that the brass ball was not bought from here, but the brass cylinder was. Its called "a refrigeration unit" and it keeps things fresh. The investigators buy one with a portion of Mrs. Thistle's name.


The investigators have a meeting with the Morris-Hill brothers at The Eccentric Club. They lay out what they know and imply that the likely killer is an Imperial Darkling. The brothers are agast and sugest they take the investigation towards looking at non-Imperial Changelings from The Jade Warren, The Shamar Freehold, or Redcap's Freehold.


Mrs. Thistle is called to Scotland Yard to examine a letter that purports to be from the Whitechapel killer. It is an obvious effort to disguise the intelligence of the individual involved and throw the investigation off. It comes with one of the second victim's kidneys.

Dr. Lambeth-Reede is able to discover that the kidney was prepared for the package in a surgical amphitheater filled with Ravens. They are able to track the apetheter to Imperial College, but there are no records of anyone using it.


Thanks to Joe Chandler, the investigators meet with Merlin, the self-proclaimed leader of the Willworkers in London. He gives them the following information:

  • Whoever is committing these crimes is digging holes in the Hedge and the fabric of space-time (whatever that is). If these holes keep growing, they could burrow all the way to Fae Arcadia.
  • Souls contain great power, and could be used to power dark magics.
  • Organs can be used as spell components. The uterus is a powerful component.
  • The Killer cannot be a Changeling:
    • The Charter's twelveth revision bans "bridge burning and bridge building," so the destruction or creation of new passageways in the hedge would result in powerful karmic comeuppance.
    • Changelings can't do "real magic" because of the tattered nature of their souls.

He promises to look into the "brass containers."


Sweet Lilly discovers that Sen. Conkling has been meeting with a man in Chinatown. Sensing a potential Jade Warren connection, the investigators question Governor Lu Bang, who accepts a large bribe to tell them that Conkling has been looking for Motzart's, a pub on the East End.


The investigators head to Motzart's to intercept Conkling. They talk to the bartender who gives out the basic information about the location's importance as the Axis Mundi. Dr. Lambeth-Reede finds a number of doors that are chained up in the back of the pub as well as a "Music Randomizer" being watched over by a mysterious Darkling.

Conkling arrives, and the investigators strong-arm him into talking. He confesses to being "on the take" from Quincy Courtright. Courtright has set him about finding this location and noting doors to specific locations:

  • Chicago
  • Sydney
  • Dublin
  • Shanghai
  • Ulster
  • Manchester

He also is having Conkling give a large amount of money to Prince Edgar and Princess Anne Merchant's organization: The Membership Committee. They are borrowing roughly six million dollars, U.S. currency. They think the money is coming from Conkling, but its actually from Courtright.


The investigators force Conkling to set up a meeting with Courtright. At this meeting Courtright seemingly poisons Conkling and, protected by a sniper, tells the investigators that he is not responsible for the prostitute murders. Quite the opposite, he wants them stopped as they are upsetting his own plans. He tells them based on his own investigation the next murders will take place on the thirtieth of this month, well after Summer is over.


The investigators head to the Tower of London to investigate the Ravens. They meet an ensorcelled man named Charles Dodgson, whom Mrs. Thistle correctly identifies as the poet Lewis Carroll. Together they enter a passage to the Hedge.


Inside the Hedge, the investigators are confronted by the gates of The Black Treasury and its brass clockwork guard. While attempting to find a way in, our heroes are chased by a horrific gray tentacled being from beyond reckoning. A small part of it manages to follow them through a doorway into the Hedge that leads directly down to the Thames river.


The Investigators chase a number of dead-ends and are formally invited to the 222nd anniversary of the Great Fire of London at The Imperial Palace. They are guided into the celebration and meet Prince Edgar, who is still very eagar for them to catch whoever is doing it. He introduces them to John and Micheal Darling, knights of the Summer Court.


After witnessing a reenactment of the emergence of Summer from the Hedge and the the union of the Courts to fight it back, the investigators decide to search the Palace, using the Prince's authority as reason to do so. They discover a room containing the four great Magic Mirrors, realizing that one of them (the Mirror of Truth) is reflecting back an explosive device that is not actually present in the room. The investigators quickly disperse to try and find the culprit, only to find that Prince Edgar has been stabbed in the back. They warn the Morris-Hill boys and the area is evacuated just in time before the room containing the magic mirrors explode.


In light of the "obvious Dusk Court attack" on the Imperial Palace, the Empress has decided to push back the start of Autumn to give the King more time to root out the scum. This results in a new push from






All The News That's Fit To Print[]

For other articles see- London Daily Mirror


The worst storm the city has ever known. Business travel completely suspended.

New York helpless in a tornado of wind and snow which paralyzed all industry, isolated the city from the rest of the country, caused many accidents and great discomfort, and exposed it to many dangers.

The storm of wind and rain, which began to sweep over this city and the neighborhood on Sunday evening, gathered force as the night progressed. The temperature began to fall albeit and snow descended in succession and the wind be- came boisterous. Before daylight dawned yesterday a remarkable storm, the most annoying and detrimental in its results that the city has ever witnessed, was in full progress.

When the people began to stir to go about their daily tasks and vocations, they found that a blizzard, just like those they have been accustomed to read about as occurring in the far West had struck this city and its environs and had held an embargo on the travel and traffic of the greatest city on the continent. What the presence of a blizzard meant was soon manifest.

Before the day had well advanced, every horse-car and elevated railroad train in the city had stopped running; the streets were almost impassable to men or horses by reason of the huge masses of drifting snow; the electric wires- telegraph and telephone -- connecting spots in the city or opening communication with places outside were nearly all broken; hardly a train was out from the city or came into it during the entire day; the mails were stopped, and every variety of business dependent on motion or locomotion was stopped.


For other discussions of facts in question see- The Master Query List

The Books
The Book of Spring: Chapter One: Black Masks and Coronation Cake • Chapter Two: The Illuminated Texts • Chapter Three: The Good Fight • Chapter Four: A Little Drop of Poison • Chapter Five: Games of Fortune • Chapter Six: For Everything
The Book of Summer: Chapter Seven: War Aeterna • Chapter Eight: War Plan Red • Chapter Nine: Trust No One • Chapter Ten: Best Laid Plans • Chapter Eleven: The Quest • Chapter Twelve: The Saber Arch • Chapter Thirteen: The Diary of Prince Martin • Chapter Fourteen: Sacrifices • Chapter Fifteen: There Is A Season
The Meeting
The Book of Autumn: Chapter Sixteen: Black Holes and Revelations • Chapter Seventeen: The Last Magic Mirror • Chapter Eighteen: The Final Terrible Fate of Elizabeth Chandler • Chapter Nineteen: Treason, Sedition, Heresy • Chapter Twenty: Iron Sacrifice of Body, Will and Soul • Chapter Twenty-One: Time For Every Purpose
The Book of Winter: Chapter Twenty-Two: Pax Hiems • Chapter Twenty-Three: The Diary of Mrs. Thistle Sept-Dec 1888 • Chapter Twenty-Four: Choices