Minor Edit: The Cult of the Munnarivippalanaka’s name is being changed to the Cult of the Maranam for simplicity’s sake.
Our story begins this evening with the revival of Bishan Sitha, a man rescued by Yada in the explosion that rocked the Masonic Lodge. Mr. Sitha has some very interesting things to say. He mentions the existence of another temple, similar but distant to the temple Yada was raised in “at the other end of the stream”. Sitha reluctantly talks to Yada and tells him about the prophecy that has brought him and his brothers to London. There are four parts:
1) “The Veil Shall Be Pierced”. Sitha and the Cult of the Maranum (“Harbinger”) believe that Dr. Morgan Sinclair’s implants act as conduits to the other side and have thus pierced the vel.
2) “A Portal Opens to the Past”. He had very little information on this one.
3) “Leviathan Shall Return”. Before being released he mentioned offhand that this part of the prophecy has also come true.
4) “Vengeance Shall Blind the Eyes of God”. He didn’t know what this one meant either.
Sitha mentions that the “Sand Seers” directed him and his brothers to London where these things would take place. Sitha seems polite enough but reaffirms his intent to kill Yada. Despite these warnings Yada releases him. He fades into the early morning fog.
Father Souisse returns to his church and begins researching about the Twilight Lands. He is frustratingly unsuccessful and decides to confront the Cardinal directly. Frustrated at what he sees as a hole in the faith, the Cardinal calmly tells Father Souisse that there are some things deemed inappropriate to share with the flock. Despite attempting to keep the doubt off his face the Cardinal readily picks up on it (through a compel) and admonishes him to “wrap himself in his faith, not cling to it.” After Souisse tells the Cardinal that he plans on rescuing a child, Desmond Mooney, from the Twilight Lands and was given this task by a demon, the Cardinal opens a bookshelf containing forbidden references. He tells Souisse that Demons work many times through poisoned tongues and that the demon Scorn should not achieve his goals. The Cardinal tasks Souisse with determining if this child is a demon and says that most demons will bear a mark of their heritage and this mark will usually be revealed during a baptism. The Cardinal then directs Souisse to burn out the mark with holy fire, the only language the demons truly understand. He then lends Souisse an ancient copper crucifix that has tarnished a deep green color and a book about the Fae lands. He recommends having an anchor when travelling abroad and having a person of deep faith to bear the responsibility of that anchor. Souisse is calmed by the Cardinal’s words. The Cardinal speaks to the Father one more time about the simplicity of his words and states that the true nature of faith is simplicity itself usually only found after a lifetime of study. He tells Souisse that faith could be learned, in some instances, better from a child than a priest.
Stony Joe, with his morning constitutional, becomes aware that his ruby hands, when used to punch, will set things on fire. Even frozen slabs of beef.
The group meets up briefly at the Club, absent a Dr. Cavindish who was called away suddenly because numerous lines of credit have already been opened in his name. The group travels to Holehaven with Yada periodically checking the surroundings with his sight. He sees a glowing article upon Lucien Brielle’s chest that is quickly covered up. In Yada’s spirit sight, Lucien appears to be made of stone and stands unblinking against a mighty wind. A mortal to be sure, but one with a steadfast heart.
Reaching Holehaven, Yada is about to turn his vision on when he spots a familiar face. It is the man who exploded in the Masonic lodge. He is casually striding along the streets of Holehaven with a container of toffee. Upon speaking with the man (who introduces himself as Soloman Boothe), he appears to have no idea what Mearcair is talking about in reference to a bombing at the Masonic Lodge. The man is polite, if a little odd, and heads along his way. Yada’s sight reveals him to be filled with whirling, glowing clockwork gears. The group follows him back to the watchmaker’s store, Yada taking point this time. He walks in with the watch case discovered at the scene of the explosion at the Masonic Lodge (it has no parts inside). Mr. Boothe, looking at the watch and confronted with the explosion at the Masonic Lodge, replies that “we” (he never expands on who “we” is) have to look at you and your companions’ movement since reaching London, implying that they have the capacity to track all of their movements through time. He replies that they will not speak with the players at this time, but will meet them that evening at Kismet Park.
Walking around Holehaven, the players notice that most of the clocks around Kismet Park are just a little slow (approximately 3 minutes). The farther away that players get from Kismet Park the clocks all synchronize. It is at this point that Yada recognizes the three figures that were stalking them in Hoffarth. Homing in with his sight, Yada and the group manage to pick out a group of four people walking. Father Souisse approaches them and sprays them with holy water. The group of people consist of:
1) A well dressed, regal bearing woman (who Souisse maneuvers out of the way)
2) A well dressed man, also with a noble bearing. He wipes his face with a monogrammed handkerchief bearing the initials “AC”.
3) A well dressed man who bears himself as a commoner, likely raised as a commoner and brought into the noble fold. He has, somehow, managed to snatch the holy water out of the air and remains quite dry aside from his glove.
4) A commoner, dressed as such.
Yada approaches the group and demands they convince him of their good intentions. The woman raises an eyebrow and asks him if he really wants to fight here. Yada strikes! The well dressed, noble bearing gentleman ducks out of the way of Yada’s strike with unbelievable alacrity, drawing a rapier and pinning Yada’s staff to the ground. The other man flings a bit of cloth into Yada’s face, momentarily blinding him. Finally, the woman steps forward, rapier drawn, and brings down a blow of such force it threatens Yada’s very life! Feeling his chi energy rising in his chest, the blow is tilted downward into the ground where Yada drives his staff. The resulting explosion flings Yada high into the air and about a half mile away. When the dust clears there is a crater in the middle of Holehaven just off High street. Buildings tilt and many people are wounded from the shock wave. Yada lands with a buffeting roll with little more than his pride damaged.
As the blow is deflected by the chi shield hastily erected by Yada a brief flash of these three giants masquerading as people is revealed. His sight reveals the power that they have is all shared. Spiritually, they are all joined by the same force.
The clattering of a cane upon the cobblestone comes nearer and then there is a knock on the door. There is a tense moment when everyone looks to the door. Blades are grasped. One of the men goes to the door and peers through a small hole. “It is Sitha!” The door opens and the one legged man is welcomed warmly into the group that was, only moments ago, ready to kill. One man, cloaked in shadow, steps away from the other men and approaches Sitha. “Were you followed?” the man in the shadows asks. “Most certainly not,” Sitha replies to him. “Have you heard about Holehaven?” he asks back to the shadowed man and the rest of the men gathered there. The silence in the room is answer enough. One of the other men, a younger one, pipes up suddenly, “Mr. Sitha, you spoke to the Harbinger?”
“Yes, I did,” replied Sitha, sitting down with a wince of pain. The wound where his leg used to be was still fresh even if it had been tended professionally. “It is a sad thing,” he continues, “for I believe the Harbinger believes deep in his heart that he is a good man. That he strives to do good. Yet we now see the fruits of his works before us. Twenty seven dead and over forty wounded. He must be stopped.”
“How will we persevere against such power?” the young man asks, fear creeping into his voice.
“With our faith,” the man in shadow says, “with our faith alone.” Turning toward Sitha he continues, “Begin the preparations, Mr. Sitha. It is time.”
With another groan Bishan Sitha raises himself up off the bench and steps to the center of the room. “Nabih,” he says to the younger man, “come here. I have need of you.” The young man springs up and stops by Sitha’s side.
“What do you require of me?” Nabih replies, eager. For a moment a shadow of sadness crosses Bishan Sitha’s face,
“Only your life, young Nabih.” With a flash Sitha slices the young man across the throat and the young man falls to the floor, clutching his throat. Then, realizing that this is his task, he releases his hand and his blood spills even faster onto the ground as he chokes out, “Munne maranam” as gobs of blood trickle from his lips. He falls into the center of the floor as the rest of the men gather around him, placing their hands in the blood of their companion. Sitha begins a chant:
“Tēvatūtarkaḷ iratta nām uṅkaḷukku utavum. Eṅkaḷ narampukaḷil iratta nām uṅkaḷ viruppattai ceyalpaṭutta. Calātīṉ hārṭ eṅkaḷukku vaḻikāṭṭa maṭṭumē uṅkaḷ kaṇkaḷ iruṇṭa nuḻaiya vēṇṭum. Muṉṉē maraṇam. Muṉṉē maraṇam. Muṉṉē maraṇam.”
(“With the blood of angels we serve you. With the blood of our veins we enforce your will. With the heart of Saladin we will enter into the dark with only your eyes to guide us. Death to the Harbinger. Death to the Harbinger. Death to the Harbinger. “)
A crimson light flashes, extinguishing all but a single candle. Out of the darkness Bishan Sitha comes, walking on two legs now. “Are we ready?” asks the voice of the shadow man. Sitha stares out into the darkness, his face saddened and weary but his words are filled with strength.
He blows out the candle leaving all in darkness.