Of Smoke and Mirrors

The Times, 11th of February 1855

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Construction started on the Grand Crimean Railway
The Times war-correspondent William H. Russel could today report that the first nail of the Grand Crimean Railway project was struck on February 8th at the port of Balaclava. The project aims to solve the supply problems for the brave men at the front near Sevastopol, an issue on which our correspondent has commented more than once. In particular a shortage of winter gear has seen our lads suffer severely in the harsh Russian winter. Lord Raglan’s headquarter could however assure the Times that with the rail-line in place by an estimated early April the difficulty of transportation and logistics would be solved.
This vital project was proposed by Mr Samuel M. Peto back in November and in an act of commendable patriotism and charity he has funded and outfitted the entire venture together with his partners Mr Edward Betts and Thomas Brassey.
An in depth coverage of the project continues over the next two pages, with a detailed report on the construction process from Mr Russel, as well as a lengthy interview with Mr Peto. The editor ends with a stirring appeal for others to contribute to the war-efforts.

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The Mysterious Footprints Solved?
As was noted on the trivia page in the Time’s issue of the 9th of February a case of mass hysteria seemed to have overtaken the people of Exeter and South Devon. Several series of mysterious footprints, or more precisely hoof-prints, had been observed in the aforementioned area following a heavy snowfall on the 7th. Local reports claimed they continued straight on into the moors, crossing straight over hedges and houses. Local papers were awash with hysterical clerics preaching doom and old villagers raving about the Devil Lucifer stalking the land.
The Times can however now assure its readers that no demon nor devil has been afoot in Exeter. The mystery appears to have been solved by a team from the Institute for the Study of the Aetheric, Magical Artifacts and Mystical Creatures, led by Decanus Eveline Windsor. Though the young lady has not been available for interview a Ebenezer Cecil, resident of Barrowynd Manor, speaking on her behalf could assure the Times that the mystery was due to a disturbance in the local Telluric Lines and nothing more.

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Train Tests underway at Kibblesworth
A short notice discuss the upcoming tests to take place near Kibblesworth where currently a test tunnel for an underground railway is underway. Kibblesworth was chosen because of similar geological properties to London city and once complete the tunnel will be used in the development of an underground train for use in the London Underground. In particular the question of the power source is hotly debated.

A new Prime Minister in Belgium
The recent general election in the Kingdom of Belgium ended as predicted with the clear victory of the Catholic block 31 against 23 seats. According to sources available to the Times the likely candidate for Prime Minister appears to be the young and promising Pierre de Decker (Eldren). Though highly controversial with the Revolution against the Dutch in fresh memory Mr. de Decker is set to promote Flemish interest and their language (Dutch) which has long been neglected.
The note goes on discussing local affairs in Belgium.

Concern regarding the air in London
A group of doctors and professors, led by Luke Howard, has signed a letter to the editor urging action against the “city fog” which they believe unhealthy. Furthermore the heavy smoke damages public buildings, deprives vegetation of sunlight and raise the laundry expenses!

Several other minor notices, advertisement, poems and letters to the editor.

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Eveline's Illustrated Diary
by Mr. Scruffles

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Clairvoyance

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Afternoon tea

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Early morning snooping with Mr. McGill

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Dauntless Fighter

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Notes from the Expedition to Kingsgrave Cairn, 8. February 1855

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What follows is the preliminary summary of my findings at Kingsgrave Cairn, including an overview over the site written by my collegue Christopher Holden as well as my rather basic overview of all uncovered inscriptions and their on-site translations. I readily admit these notes are by no means a comprehensive overview but I hope that it can be of some use to you Miss Windsor, to the Institute as well as perhaps to our students. I would also like to point out that I believe these ruins are of immense scientific value to the still young Archaeological community as they seem to be the remains of a pre-celtic burial with inscriptions in what appears to be a very ancient form of Ogham.

Overview of Kingsgrave Cairn
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Dear reader, I suggest first that you envision for a moment the environs of the English moorland. Vast flats of short turf growing across stretches of rolling hillocks, interspaced by little valleys with lonely streams and small groves of windblown trees. It is a lonely landscape, in which monuments stands out as sharp contrasts against the distant skies, and it is as such that one first sees Kingsgrave Cairn. The locality lies in a rather broad valley due north of Barrowynd manor, where the main barrow mound creates an artificial hill cutting the valley, and its stream, in two. Upon the mound has been raised a truly massive megalith, so massive in fact that were it not for its smooth and even surface it would surely have to be seen as a natural rock formation. The megalith, known by the locals as Kingstor, is however as said perfectly smooth and even across its startlingly black surface. It seems to have been fashioned from black jasper, which would indeed be astonishing as jasper of that coloration is virtually unknown in Europe, yet as far as I can tell it can be nothing else. I have however successfully struck and prepared a sample for the experts back in London.
The rest of the site, except for the central cairn, consist of two concentric circles of menhirs interspaced by a circle of exactly eight smaller burrows. Around this main site literally hundreds of smaller, less impressive burials can be found as kistvaens in the slopes. The menhirs appears to be mostly in a good condition, sheltered from the worst of the elements by the valleys slopes, and several contain intelligible markings, mostly swirling organic patterns as well as some instances of Ogham inscriptions. Several also carried what appears to be a floral mark, possibly some form of kingsmark or religious sigil. As observed by mr Auri all of the menhirs seems to be conduits for telluric energies and according to his notes they channelled these energies inwards, centred on the massive central megalith. For what purpose this was done we cannot as of yet ascertain, but I assume it might be in order to fuel some magical ritual.

The burial burrows on the other hand seem to have fared worse in the thousands of years since their closure and two were discovered opened. They appear as small, roughly two and a half meter tall, bumps in the ground with one arched opening facing inwards and shut with a massive, flat slab of stone. Upon entering one of the two opened burrows we discovered a skilfully constructed stone corridor, made with fitted stone blacks, which formed a roughly T shape with two internal chambers. The left hand chamber, facing north, contained a sunken burial pit in which we discovered the vandalized skeleton of its former inhabitant. Someone had at one point smashed several of the bones and scattered the skeleton about the bit. I believe the specimen to once have been an ogre, as the size of the bones indicated as such. No items or valuables had been placed with the dead, though this could be the result of looting. The right hand chamber, facing south, contained the burial assemblage, though it had clearly been disturbed. Of note were a massive armoured coat made from leaf like scale-mail in bronze, as well as several swords, a shield and arrowheads all made from bronze and several inlaid with gold. The assemblage also included several practical items, such as a comb, two small mirrors etc, though presumably the looters have removed several of the most valuable items.

On the grounds of the assemblage found within one of the burrows I believe that the Kingsgrave site can safely be dated to what is now being called the Bronze Age, which started roughly three hundred years after the Deluge, perhaps four thousand years ago. I am however unsure about the exact dating, both due to the exceptional craftsmanship observed, as well as the presence of mirrors, which are otherwise unknown in Britain before the arrival of the Roman legions.
A more thorough survey, as well as a more precise Clairvoyant dating, is certainly called for however.

Christopher Holden
Doc. Phil.
University of London

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Inscriptions and sigils
The Kingsgrave site has proven a treasure-trove for those with an interest in the study of ancient languages on the British Isles, though I have to admit the site also leaves many of our current theories in shambles. The majority of uncovered inscriptions were written in some form of proto-ogham, suggesting the possibility that ogham actually developed from an earlier system of writing. I have however also uncovered at least two cases of inscriptions apparently written in ogham and the language is that of the old Celtic peoples, what can perhaps be termed Early Irish. I will divide the following short description into three sections, focusing on the three main sites of inscriptions.

The Menhirs
The menhirs of the inner circle carries at least one inscription without fail, some having been decorated with more and some carrying various sigils in addition to the writing. The writing here is uniformly in what appears a proto-ogham script, writing what I believe is an unknown language. The inscriptions are short and I would suggest as a hypothesis that they are the names and possibly titles of those buried in the burrows surrounding the main cairn. Furthermore each menhir carries several patterns, mostly floral, which I believe would play a ritualistic and perhaps magical significance for those buried here.

The Main Megalith
The megalith raised on the Cairn itself forms the central focal point of the site, and it has also furnished us with the most spectacular and astonishing inscription yet. Facing north and south are two identical inscriptions chiselled into the rock itself. They are surprisingly well preserved, conditions taken into consideration, and feature a circular block of text which forms a large spiral pattern. The writing is in the same proto-ogham script which also graces the menhirs, likely also written in the same unknown language. It thus seems likely that these inscriptions, and their language, represent remnants from the earliest phase of the sites usage.

However, as luck would have it, I discovered what appears to be a transcription of the text made onto a total of four smaller (roughly 1 meter tall) standing stones of common granite which surround the main monument. This transcription was done in ogham, admittedly a most archaic variety, and the language is a form of the Celtic language as it is known to us today. It undoubtedly is the same text, as the length and also the pattern of the spiral is a near perfect match, and I take it to be a later transcription added as time passed but the site remained in use. Though my transcription is so far only preliminary I will present the first five circles of text, as well as the last one, which I feel confident are correctly translated and which are of enormous scientific significance. It appears to be the epitaph over a king known as Rinnal.

“Herein lies Rinnal, High King, The Old King, The Glorious King.
He who was of the distant time, and the distant people. He saw the Coming of the End.
Far he led us, to this place under the stars, through the Storms and the Worlds Ending.
He united the people of Dewnan, of the Deep Valleys. He rebuilt and remembered.
He led the people of Dewnan against the enemy. Aldebran. And he was chained. And he was imprisoned.
……
And now he will do in death as he did in life. Protecting the people.”

This short piece of text reveal several astonishing points. Firstly, the Dewnan mentioned is clearly an early form of the name Devon, which we know have Celtic roots.
Secondly the Storms and the Worlds Ending of the text could quite possibly refer to the Great Cataclysm, popularly called the Deluge. It thus seems likely that the main cairn is that of someone who survived the Great Cataclysm and this would thus be the grave of an Antediluvian sapient. The possibilities of what could be found inside are exciting to say the least.
Thirdly the text mentions an Aldebran as the enemy. This is of great interest as Aldebran is generally agreed to be one of several transcriptions of the Arabic name Aldebaran, a reoccurring name in several cultures which oft times has been linked to the mysterious Archon Nergaal. This could possibly have something to do with the cryptic final line of the inscription.

The Door-Slab
The last inscription of note was written in Ogham upon what appears to be the door slab of the main cairn itself. The inscription was written in a circular, spiral like pattern, centred on a sigil which I believe might have been the kingsmark of King Rinnal. The inscription itself however, on grounds of linguistics, appears of a significantly newer date then the rest of the site, possibly added later by the Celtic users of the site. It reads as follows:

“Under ancient stone resting, that which can eternal lie.
In its eternal prison resting, that which will never die.
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even Death may die.”

These lines are perplexing, as the last two lines are part of the infamous book by the mad arab Abdul Alhazred. Why this has been added to the portal I cannot fathom, but it certainly adds one more exciting mystery to the fascinating site which is Kingsgrave Cairn.

Knut Lindström
Doc. Phil.
University of London

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Entry: 8th of February, 1855

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-10ºC, silvery moonlight over the snowy landscape

The beginning of February has been as unforgivable as winter can be, for there is not a day that goes by without the land being covered by an everlasting coat of snow. Due to a series of circumstances, I find myself writing this piece in the main chamber of the Barrowynd Manor, in the quality of a self-appointed sentinel. But before leaning into further detail on why on earth am I sharing the room with my dear and flaky uncle Cecil, there are some loose ends that I should tend to. After what it was quite a vivacious dinner party back in my cozy London flat, Lizzy had finally revealed the bizarre events that have been haunting Uncle Cecil since his unexplainable collapse during the previous seminar on the subject of antediluvian artefacts. Having everything regarding this occurrence strike me as utterly suspicious, I have organized a university expedition to the Moors in Barrowynd, near my Uncle’s estate, under the pretext of an archeologic expedition.

It has now been 3 days since I have arrived, and every hour that I spend in this vicinity contributes to aggravate my suspicions even further. The “Devil’s Curse” as to abbreviate, is what has been depriving Uncle Cecil’s from his usual amiable self and keeping this household on edge. After reading about it myself I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive and sympathetic. There is something about this place that is definitely off… As my body has inevitably giving in to exhaustion, my night terrors are currently being replaced by awaking delusions. I am most probably on the verge of going mad, but I feel like I am being watched… She is keeping me under her sight… That hateful creature that resembles a girl! How could I have let her escape!? Heavens know how I thirst for a chance of putting this unresolved matter to an end! However, besides this wicked idiosyncrasy of mine I have been susceptible to other visions. The moon shines red and there is a creature lurking in the shadows of these astonishingly powerful magical lands. I cannot say for certain what it is, but every particle of my soul resonates to it. To make matters worse, I believe that Uncle Cecil is not being haunted by the curse alone. Something fishy is going in this house and it involves Mr. Ebenezer. Auntie is also behaving abnormally…

This is why I stand guard tonight. After the murder of the poor footman Tom in this very room, Uncle Cecil feels compelled to end this curse by giving up himself in such a fatalistic way. What a foolish and pathetic way of resolving such a matter! I will not stand idle by this. As the hours refuse to pass, I write in hopes of staying awake and distracting myself from my own fears within. It would be a lie if I said I am not afraid, in fact, I am as scared as ever. Only this time I feel like I can actually go through with this. Maybe… experience is finally catching up with me.

There is one last thing that I feel like I should add. A little ray of light to what has been such a heavy existence lately… A reference to Mr. Christopher, who’s engaging conversation, supporting and ravishing smile have suddenly gotten ahead of me on these couple of days. Even now, it gives me strength to smudges of ink.

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"The Curious Legends of the Devil’s Footprints", 7. February 1855

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The Cairn of Kingsgrave

Preface:
Dear reader. I, Lord Burghley the seventh Richard Cecil, pen herein some of the curious legends and fairy-tale spun by the peasants of Dartmoor about a so called “Curse” said to haunt the Cecil family of Barrowynd. I have decided to add this chapter to my work, Dartmoor and its Ancient Structures, because I believe it will give an interesting example of how these ancient monuments still effect the minds of contemporary sapiency. However ridiculous these tall-tales might seem I hope that the general educated reader will none the less find them if nothing else amusing, or perhaps an interesting study of the commoner’s suspicious and narrow mind. These tales are particularly popular with the more religious and superstitious people of Widecombe-in-the-Moors, though variations upon them can be found in the entire locality from Barrowynd to Exmouth.

Bess’ Wicked Wizard:
The oldest and best known of the legends pertaining to the Devil’s Footprints, which also seems to have started the whole tradition, centres on my famous ancestor William Cecil, second Lord Burghley. As is widely known he was the Chief Advisor to our Good Queen Elizabeth for many years of her reign and as such it is not unnatural that his sudden and mysterious death in 1585 coursed some uproar. While it is generally believed he died from a magical experiment gone awry, as he was known to be mage of great power and learning, local people have spun a different tale. They speak of how William Cecil was a wicked wizard who terrorized the local people and disturbed the ancient burials on the Moors. They then goes on to relate how he supposedly opened or otherwise disturbed the great Cairn known as Kingsgrave which made Heaven curse him in their anger and punish him for his wicked ways. The locals claim that the Devil walked in the winter night and claimed the life of first William Cecil and then five of his six children, one every night, until only the youngest who possessed no magical abilities survived the final Sunday night. As supposed proof for this hellish visitation the tale points to the mark of hoofs found in a long, straight line from Kingsgrave all the way to Exmouth.

The Great Thunderstorm of 1638:
The next visitation of this so called Devil is said to have taken place in 1638 when the fourth Lord Burghley died mysteriously on October the 21st. A terrible thunderstorm is said to have raged across the Moor and with it, according to the legend, came the Devil who struck down the church of Widecombe-in-the-Moor and killed many locals as if by magic. It is said that it then left hoofmarks all the way to Barrowynd where it killed Lord Burghley who was of course also a wizard most wicked. His eldest son and his two children died on the following three nights, leaving only the second son whom the tale claims possessed no magical talent. Curiously, some versions of the legend claim that the fourth lord had, before the curse claimed him, just uncovered some of his forefathers ancient magical artefacts, amongst them items pillaged from Kingsgrave. I find it most curious how so many of these otherwise moralistic and anti-thaumaturgic legends try to tie robbing of Kingsgrave to my ancestors list of crimes.

The Kingsgrave Expedition:
I am now myself preparing to head to Kingsgrave Cairn in order to undertake an archaeological excavation and determine what relation this ancient place could have had, if at all, to the deaths of two of my ancestors. Some of the local elders have of course warned me of the dangers, pronouncing doom upon me should I dare venture to the Cairn, but this seems utter nonsense to me. Though admittedly curious, I find no reason to believe the existence of such a Curse. Rather it seems to me there must be some sort of unhealthy fume or other malady that clings to the Cairn and course these unexplained deaths. I have prepared accordingly….

(Written in a different hand) My Grandfather the seventh Lord Burghley passed away in the night on December the 3rd 1802, his death a complete mystery to the doctors and everyone in the household. He was found in his room, looking as if he died from stark, indescribable horror while staring at his own reflexion in a mirror. I attach here a drawing of a certain set of footprints found near the house on the 4th by myself. May he Rest in Peace.
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Thomas Cecil
My brother, Thomas Cecil, who had taken up the work of our grandfather on Kingsgrave Cairn passed away on the 8th of February 1853 after having visited Kingsgrave on the 5th, his young daughter and son following him on the 10th and 11th… He died as grandfather did and the devil walked three times. Heaven have Mercy upon me but I must get to the bottom of this!

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Eveline's Illustrated Diary
by Mr. Scruffles

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The Guild Quarterly, 6. February 1855

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Preface
The editor wishes his readers a pleasant if belated new year and wishes it will be promising for both the guild and its associates. Indeed, the new year has already seen several interesting new developments within the field of Theumaturgical studies as well as both history and numerology. Notable is the recent contribution by Lord Burghley, Brownlow Cecil, in the field of archaeology and antediluvian studies where he has greatly enlarged our understanding of the ancient systems of graves and standing stones across Britain. In particular his sound arguments for the existence of a British antediluvian civilization has garnered praise and approval from the scientific community. This edition is for this reason especially dedicated to the ancient civilizations of the British Isles and topics related to them.

Telluric Lines of the Moors, Coincidence or Constructed?
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It is widely known that Telluric Lines, currents and pools of concentrated aetherical energy, is especially prevalent in the more remote parts of the British countryside. Indeed, it seems the spreading pollution called industrialisation by some is deluding and erasing those once found in more populous areas. Yet more so then anywhere else the great stretches of moorland across Great Britain seems to hum with the invisible power of the Tulleric. And finally we may be one step closer to understanding why.

It is my belief that we must look to the ancient remains of the moors, especially the standing stones or Menhirs as the French call them, for the solution to this problem. After careful studying several ancient sites across the Welsh moorland and on the Salsbury plains, further detailed below, it seems clear that most every Telluric current or node in the area flows past, split or changes course at these ancient monuments. Indeed, I have been able to prove that at the famous Stonehenge circle every stone is in fact linked to the others by at least three Telluric currents, though they are relatively weak after presumably millennia of heavy use by the Paynim magicians of the Celts and others.

But not only do these currents flow past or pool at these stones but I believe they are also in part controlled by them and indeed that the real purpose of these massive undertakings once were the direction and manipulation of Telluric energies. How this is done I have yet to discern, but based on a few experiments conducted by Francis Belhoven almost a century past such a mechanic seems plausible. And what an intriguing possibility it is! Yet the question does of course still remain, why would the ancient people of do this, and which of them were able to accomplish such feats? Was it indeed as is believed the Celtic people mentioned by Roman historians or was it rather remains of an even older time and the great Antediluvian civilizations?

Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Baronet and Historian

Observations on the Occupants of Celtic Burials
After an extended study of the many Celtic burials that has recently come to light across our country, and especially by looking at the funerary assemblage, I am now able to offer some observations upon those found interred within these sites. It should first be noted that there seems to be two types of burials, those of great kings or chiefs and those of great warriors. The first type is certainly the least controversial and the most common, usually characterized with a wide funerary assemblage of valuables and earthly goods likely imagined as the things needed by the great king in the afterlife. Often it is here we find the richest gold treasures of the type which has made these graves such a popular hunt for thieves and other miscreants.

However, there is a second type of graves which I have named the Warrior Graves. These are distinct in their lack of noted valuables as well as the share amount of weapons, armaments and protective magic left with the deceased. Without exception the interred were also physically large specimen of either Human, Beastman or in a few rare cases Ogre heritage, suggesting they were great warriors buried in readiness for battle. It further appears they were all buried at the prime of their age, having died without any overt injury to the body most likely resulting from choking or hunger.

The more intricate details of these practices are as of yet unclear to us and awaits further excavations but as a final note I wish to raise that point that not a single individual interred appears to have possessed any form of magical abilities nor, curiously, were any of the individuals Eldren.
John Yonge Akerman, Professor in British Paymin Cultures at the University of Cambridge

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Entry: 2nd of February, 1855

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2 ºc. Foggy and cloudy.

London has glowed dimmer for me. After what I have predicted to be a very dull week, I am at last free from any doctor’s appointment and I no longer require any rest. There is barely any evidence of a scar, unless I touch the spot thoroughly or look directly at it at a certain light. Even though that was my greatest concern until quite recently, I have been having my hands full with other issues.

Sleep has become my worst enemy. Every time I close my eyes for a quick restoring nap, images just keep flashing back. I keep recalling that woman’s bloodshot eyes full of intention to kill me immediately turning blank as the head detaches from the body. Somehow, that scene keeps overlapping with the creepy laughter of that strange girl-like being we found during the Ghouls incident… My head is a mess… I need to rest, but at the same time I cannot bring myself to get it. My research has been the only thing that has been able to keep my mind sane. Fortunately I have been advancing on it pretty well.

Last night though, I have found a way to fall asleep and avoid initial night terrors. Without Marianne’s knowledge, I have snatched a bottle of Porto wine reserved for our fine guests. One small glass is all I need (also it is all my body can take) and my mind goes immediately blank. I am able to sleep through the night, though it does not safeguard me from a shaky, sweaty wake up.

On another matters, I wonder how my circumstantial companions are doing. Not that I was expecting them to pay me a visit, as Mr. Auri loses track of the world when he is working and Mr. McGill just does not fancy me at all. Despite of that, I still care about them in a way. I also wonder if they struggle… Probably this is exactly the reason why Mr. McGill finds me quite displeasing, for having these naïve thoughts and knowing nothing about crude, real world emotions.

I have also been thinking about the clinic where all these events occurred. I might find some peace in repenting for what happened… Maybe that doctor’s proposition on becoming a nurse might not sound so empty after all.

Nevertheless, mom’s anniversary is coming soon. I am feeling a bit anxious about it. It has been a while since the family has been reunited and I miss my brothers deeply. I wish from the bottom of my heart for them to be safe.

- bibamus, moriendum est
Let us drink, for we must die.

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Entry: 28th of January, 1955

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-1 ºc. Unpleasant weather followed by a snow storm.

I was never on top of the class regarding my clairvoyance abilities and yet lately they seem to be stronger than ever. It has been two days since my last journal entry and it appears that my ongoing personal dilemma has been answered by fate.

It turns out there is no rational answer to it. To attack or to perish, in the face of real danger there is not quite much left to do than to succumb to our survival instincts. If I were to ask myself while bearing a clear state of mind, would I have ever consider the possibility of taking another life away, I am strongly positive that the answer would be no. It is not in me to hurt others and I do not know the feeling of bloodlust. And yet, I have killed someone. This sounds completely illogical, but I have figured that reality is not always coherent. Perhaps because sapient beings are not coherent themselves…

On that note, father’s reaction to life in general continues to baffle me. I have already spent too much paper and ink on this subject but the latest events caught me off my guard. The last fight has left me both emotionally and physically wrecked to the point that I no longer remember what is like to be in a “normal” state again. I suppose that after being stabbed, splashed by blood and roughly sewed up (not in a million years had I thought this would ever happen to me) the ghost of the man who I call father would show signs of slight concern. I was struggling to keep conscious as I arrived home and saw father sitting in my dining room waiting for me. I barely remembered our conversation, only the overwhelming pain and efforts of refraining from fainting on the spot. Regarding my condition, he treated me distantly and strictly as usual. I recall thinking that person’s heart has really shut down after the passing away of mom and that no other living creature, not even his children would restart it again.

But I heard concerned in his voice. It startled me! I could not escort him to the door, however sitting from my armchair I could hear him turning back and wishing for my quick recovery. That was the last thing my tiny heart could handle that night. I immediately asked Marianne to help me to my room, hoping a good night of sleep would be able to put some of my anxiety and suffering to rest. It did not, but that is something I would rather not describe in detail. For now, I will keep it hidden inside a little Pandora Box and wait for the right moment to defuse it…

A tremendously tedious week awaitens me as I have to behave in bed (or in my prized armchair contrary to Marianne’s complaints and pleads to stay in bed) and make sure my wound is healed completely. The doctor comes by every morning around 10 pm, carefully and meticulously executing his healing magic to the point that I can see progresses from a day to another. I truthfully wish the scar will not be noticeable, for I am still an unmarried maiden.

For today’s thought I would like to finish with a tribute to my father’s slumberous sensibility:

-filius est pars patris
A son is part of the father.

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The Times, 5. February 1855

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Palmerston sworn in as Prime Minister
Today at 1 pm Viscount Palmerston will be sworn in as Prime Minister of the United Kingdoms, an important post now that our fair nation is embroiled in a arduous conflict which has already claimed many lives. Today’s Times is therefore a special edition with four extra pages dedicated to our new Prime Minister in his government.

The following articles goes in depth into both the life of Viscount Palmerston and his cabinet. The Viscount, Henry Temple, aged 71 is described as one of the leading men in the nation and his aggressive attitude on issues of foreign policy and especially freedom of trade is noted, particularly his role in the First Opium War. Furthermore his cabinet is also noted as being fairly hawkish, particularly the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Windsor, whom can be relied on to press through with Palmerston’s policies. Secretary of State for the Colonies, Sidney Herbert, is another notable Whig hardliner.

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Two British Citizens confirmed dead in Bursa Earthquake
Two days ago, on the 3rd of February, a massive earthquake rocked central Anatolia, laying waste to the historic city of Bursa. Two British citizens, William Harlow and his wife Jenifer Harlow has been confirmed killed during the disaster. They were in the city on the behest of the British Embassy in Istanbul. No other British citizens are reported to be in danger or missing.

Bursa was once the first capitol of the Ottoman realm, though it has long been but a shadow of its former glory. Early reports suggests that the earthquake has almost entirely levelled the historic town.

Belgian General Election underway
The Belgian General Election is underway and the Catholic Party is expected to win a clear majority over the only opposition, the Belgian Liberal Party. Voter turnout is not expected to be particularly high, following on the trend from previous elections, and the Times correspondent in Brussels confirms that the general interest in the election is lukewarm at best amongst the general populace.

Lord Burghley to cancel his lecture series
The Marquis of Exeter, Lord Burghley, Brownlow Cecil has cancelled all three of his planned lectures on Antediluvian Britain after he fell ill during the opening session at London University. He has stated that in the interest of his health he will retire to his estate in Exeter at the advice of his doctor.

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