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Tatters of the King - episode 9

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

On the 7th of December 1929 Ms Jean Hewart, Dr Quigley Wainwright and Mr Adrian Samuels KC set off for Gloucestershire in search of a place called “Nug’s Farm” and a Mr Gresty. Mr Gresty was unknown to the group, but had written two letters to Dr Wainwright revealing a deep understanding of the forces that Dr Wainwright felt threatened the world. Mr Gresty appeared to oppose these forces and Dr Wainwright was hopeful that he might prove an ally and would be able to provide further insights into the dark works of Edwards and his occultist colleagues.

 

The party did not arrive in Gloucestershire until the 9th of December thanks to a combination of bad weather conditions and an irregular train service. On arrival a car and a driver were hired and the travellers set out to find Nug’s Farm.

 

The Gloucestershire countryside in the direction of Nug’s Farm proved ramshackle, poor and badly signposted. A day was wasted searching for the farm and eventually accommodation was sought for the night at the Belle in Bristol.

 

On the 10th of December the car again set out in search of Nug’s Farm. At a small un-named village the travellers were told that Nug’s Farm was only accessible on foot and that it was located “ovur yon hill and ran dan dere”. The natives’ impenetrable (and surprisingly trans-Atlantic) accents rendered conversation almost impossible so the travellers shrugged, told their driver to wait for them, and then set off on foot in the direction gestured.

 

The countryside they journeyed through was poor, barren and infested with pestilent weeds. Livestock was scarce and starved.

 

After a couple of hours of walking a shepherd was spotted tending his herd of ragged animals. Ms Hewart called out to him and waved her hand, but the shepherd turned his back on her. Dr Wainwright approached the boy, but he began to walk briskly and woodenly in the direction of a cluster of small hovels.

 

The travellers followed the boy into the “village” (if “village” it could be called) and watched as he disappeared into a hovel and slammed the door. Knocks on this, and other, doors were met with silence. Ms Hewart turned one handle and “hellooooed” as she pushed it gently open. A glimpse was seen of a face distorted with anger before the door was slammed firmly shut in her face.

 

An old church lay amongst the hovels and the travellers investigated this briefly. It had clearly not been used in some time and the roof had tumbled inside.

 

Dr Wainwright became impatient at the lack of response and fired a round from his pistol at one of the doors in anger. His demands that someone come out were met with deafening silence.

 

Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels confronted Dr Wainwright angrily over his reckless use of a firearm and led the psychiatrist away from the hovels and back onto the path. They walked away from the village, coming to a field of black poppies and then a patch of thickly wooded forest. A buzzing sound in the forest gave Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels headaches and, as it was getting late, the group decided to return to their car.

 

Ms Hewart, Dr Wainwright and Mr Samuels returned to Bristol for the night. Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels took the opportunity of being in the area to dine at the Assembly Rooms at Bath’s Pump House. Ms Hewart was quite excited at the opportunity to be out upon the town, but her passion for conversation and dance was dimmed after a vision of Carcosa interrupted her meal. All enthusiasm left her and she asked Mr Samuels to lead her back to the Belle after barely touching her dinner.

 

On the 11th the party asked their driver to once again take them along the road to Nug’s Farm. They left early and set off briskly along the same path as they travelled yesterday. They ignored the hovels and moved onwards and into the thickly wooded forest. Again Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels were plagued by headaches, and again a faint buzzing sound could be discerned. Ms Hewart spotted a figure watching the group from the woods and called out to him. The figure turned and ran deeper into the forest. Dr Wainwright claimed that the figure’s knees did not appear right, he said that they looked like they were on backwards – but if this were true the other two did not notice.

 

Onwards they pressed, until the path led them out of the woods and onto the peak of a hill overlooking a small cluster of farms. The first farmhouse they passed was empty, but figures could be seen outside the second and it was this that they decided to approach.

 

As they drew nearer, the travellers could make out a youngish woman and an older man working the land. Angry dogs greeted the visitors, but he woman called them off and welcomed the visitors with a refreshing kindness and an educated voice. She introduced herself as Mrs Hilary Quarrie and invited the traveller inside for some tea.

 

Ms Hewart enquired if Mrs Quarrie was the wife of Mr Malcolm Quarrie and she said she was. She told Ms Hewart that her husband had left some time ago and, after some prompting and several cups of tea, explained a little about the community in which she lived. She explained that Gresty was a leader in the community and second only to Mr Atkinson. She said both Gresty and Atkinson were evil men and enemies of hers.

 

The conversation was interrupted by the barking of dogs and the arrival of a dozen new visitors. Mrs Quarrie looked from the window and pointed out Mr Gresty to her guests, a short, balding man with no upper jaw. Mrs Quarrie went outside to talk to the new arrivals and the others overheard Gresty threaten her. Mrs Quarrie responded to these threats with a threat of her own, to “speak Atkinson’s proper name”. Mr Gresty drew silent at this and then yelled out in the direction of the travellers that they had come too late. “The schedule has been bought forward to tonight and I shall kill you and your friends”, he cried to Mrs Quarrie and then laughed and retreated.

 

Mrs Quarrie returned inside and told us we must flee for Gresty would return after nightfall and use mighty magicks to destroy her and anyone in her house. She began to burn papers and books and Ms Hewart recovered one of these – “The revelations of Glaarkee” and asked Mrs Quarrie not to destroy any papers which might help in her understanding of Carcosa. Seeing that the travellers meant her no ill, Mrs Quarrie opened up and revealed that she and her community worshipped gods named Shub-Niggurath and Y’Glonac. However, the community was riven by leadership battles and things were not going as they should.

 

Mrs Quarrie explained that she had come to this community with her husband while she was pregnant and that Atkinson had convinced her to stay after her husband left by telling her that she was destined to be a priestess in the cult. She added that the words in “The Revelations of Glaarkee” and the landscape had also seduced her. She explained that the buzzing the travellers had heard was the voice of the forest and that she had come to learn its beauty.

 

Mrs Quarrie told the travellers that her split from the cult had began when she found Atkinson teaching her four-year old daughter spells and chants. She sent her daughter away and this led to a souring in her relationship with the other cultists.

 

Mrs Quarrie again urged the visitors to leave and Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels agreed that they would, but not before they had tried to persuade Mrs Quarrie to come with them and had sworn to seek Police assistance for her. Before they left, Mrs Quarrie pressed letters from her husband into their hands and bid them to tell him that she loved him still. Dr Wainwright resolved to stay with Mrs Quarrie and protect her as best as he was able.

 

As Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels hurried for their car and for the Police station in Bristol, Mr Wainwright watched from Mrs Quarrie’s window as cultists light a bonfire before the setting sun.

 

The Police in Bristol refused to send any assistance to Mrs Quarrie, claiming that for a Policeman to enter that part of the country after dark was to invite murder. Protestations and threats of legal action from Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels did not move them.

 

As darkness fell Dr Wainwright assisted Mrs Quarrie in a ritual and became splattered in the blood of sacrificial chickens. However, Mrs Quarrie’s spell did not appear to work. She and her house were over-run with a ravening and loathsome blackness containing a thousand glistening eyes. Dr Wainwright managed to flee disorientated and screaming from the house before it was destroyed and ran wildly into the night.

 

As morning came, Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels headed back upon the road with their driver, anxious to discover what had become of Dr Wainwright and Mrs Quarrie. They found Dr Wainwright quickly, but his memory was shaken and he could tell them little.

 

A review of the letters Mr Quarrie had sent his wife revealed that he had left Edwards’ cult and had established his own “Pilgrimage for Grace”. Quarrie told his wife that he was convinced his pilgrimage could find “His avatar, the King in Yellow, the Son of God, His second coming” as soon as December or the early new year. Quarrie told his wife to contact him via Thomas Villiers at a shipping office in Milan.

 

Ms Hewart was adamant that the group’s first priority should now be to stop Quarrie. She feared he too was trying to summon Hastur and his plans appeared to be coming to fruition. A shaken Dr Wainwright however was convinced that Gresty could tell them more and that he presented the greater danger.

 

An impasse was reached so Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels returned to London to arrange transport for Milan while urging Dr Wainwright to be quick and careful in his dealings with Gresty.

 

Dr Wainwright tracked Gresty down and confronted him on Nug’s Farm. A gunfight resulted and Wainwright managed to kill Gresty but was then overcome by members of the cult leader’s “family”. The last thing his eyes saw was a shovel swinging towards his head.

 

Fearing the worst when Dr Wainwright did not return to London, Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels felt they had no choice but to press on for Milan. If the timeline in Mr Quarrie’s letter was accurate every day was of the essence. Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels told Mr Fred Hunt and Dr Ralph Winstanley what they knew and persuaded them to join them on their journey to the continent.

 

A ferry took the four travellers to Paris and then a train took them to Milan. Accommodation was sought in the Grand and a guide, Mr Paulo Tuminardo, was employed. Without pausing for so much as breakfast the guide was pressed into service and asked to lead Mr Samuels and Ms Hewart to the shipping office where Mr Thomas Villiers was said to work. The guide obliged, although Ms Hewart was alarmed to note that his attitude towards her was more than a little fresh.

 

The shipping office was found and, after some awkwardness upon arrival, Mr Villiers introduced himself. Mr Villiers was not a coy man and spoke freely to Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels when they asked after Quarrie. When his employer berated him angrily in Italian (Mr Tuminardo later revealing that he had called Ms Hewart and Mr Samuels “filth that the King in Yellow will wipe from the earth”) Mr Villiers offered to speak to them in the more private confines of his own apartment.

 

Mr Tuminardo, Mr Samuels and Ms Hewart followed Mr Villiers along the dank and reeking canals in the Navigli until they came to his apartment. Here Mr Villiers told the travellers of Quarrie and his new companion, Professor Anzalone.

 

It transpired that Anzalone believes Hastur, the King in Yellow and the Stranger are all different beings. In his view they form a trinity with Hastur the father of the King in Yellow and the Stranger the equivalent of the Holy Ghost. Quarrie and Anzalone have set off on a pilgrimage to Drakmar in Mustang, a province of Nepal, where they hope to bring about “the second coming”. Anzalone believes that the second coming will occur in Nepal because that is the home of Chaugnar Faugn, another dark god, who he believes will play a part in the birth.

 

The conversation with Mr Villiers took some time and, as he finished relating what he knew, the travellers realised that night had fallen. When his story ended Mr Villiers climbed to his feet and walked to the door. He opened the door and gave a sudden cry, pleading for an “angel” to come and serve him. He then ran outside and locked the door behind him. Ms Hewart, Mr Samuels and Mr Tuminardo all leapt to their feet as a crash was heard and a hideous winged creature burst through a skylight and into the room.

 

The creature screamed and lunged at Mr Samuels. Mr Tuminardo battered the door down and ran outside. Ms Hewart through an artist’s easel through a window and then helped the elderly Mr Samuels through as the creature lunged at him. The young actress and the elderly lawyer managed to clamber through safely and then they joined Mr Tuminardo and fled into the night. The creature did not follow them – instead it beat its giant wings, screamed one more time and flew up into the night.

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