The Hourglass Association

Amelia stays back, watchful as the table rises from the floor. She has to move her feet but once the table full of items is settled she scans it a bit. A pulley system, though sound pushes her to think a little beyond. If this was thought of before, as a spur of a moment idea than she could see ratwork being implemented. But this is different and shows that this had most likely been planned for far longer.

&quotBlimey,&quot she huffs out as she hears the resignation to the crowd from the founder. The whole thing seems like a hidden chess game and she knows barely a bloke here will drop out. Real testament will most likely happen later. So she keeps seated and watches the crowd fold and mutter among themselves.

The Professor slaps Absimiliard’s back merrily when they talk to her. &quotOh-ho, zee-voyages are fun! Of course we can swap notes, just keep cave-crickets handy for the Flock of Science’s fee. The poor things fly a lot to get the notes delivered.&quot She uses her finger to caress her bat, and it chirps in delight. As the table rises, she whispers to Absimiliard: &quotSilence about him. He is in a mission now.&quot

The Professor rolls her eyes, beginning to show signs of her not-exactly-plentiful patience and mutters: &quotOh, sure, because no one here showed up for a meeting after picking a random invitation in a piece of paper on the the street, sent by God-knows-who. We are surely the normalest people in London.&quot

“Alright then. First matter. We need a case. I have one lined up, but additonal cases are always welcome.”

Dirae Erinyes rushes in, papers streaming behind them. Evensong follows behind picking up the discarded papers. They both settled in to the chairs bearing plaques.
“Sorry, sorry. The Widow kept me busier the I expected. I am Dirae Erinyes, a correspondent. This is my wife Evensong. She works in the Foreign Office. I believe most have us have met in some capacity or another.
So, onto the cases. I do have one if you finish the other cases in a timely manner.”

(For those interested a description of my character is at

“Ah, hello. These are the other administrators of the club. The people who I believe to be capable enough of having some authority over this club. Prove yourself, and I’ll comission another plaque. Now, unless anyone else has a case to recommend, Dirae, please tell us yours.”

“This is my case. Others can present other cases, and you lot will decide between the competition. If you wish to of course.” Dirae Erinyes pulls out a map of the near Uterzee. They point to a small island up the northern coast.
“My case: What is happening on St. Francis Look-out? Founded by a devout Mr. O Reilly soon after the fall. He didn’t write much about, focusing most of his work on the Seven Graces to the South. Is not an island I’ve heard much of among the zailors, or the smugglers. Honestly, you could’ve just written it off as another unimportant speck in the zee if it wasn’t for this.”
Dirae Erinyes unpacks a case and carefully sets up a phonograph.

“A gift from the surface. However these. . .” Evensong pulls up a small, weather beaten crate and jerks the top off. Inside, there are rows and rows of brass discs.
“Were found during one of my strolls along the shores. Interesting material, I’m sure you will enjoy pouring over these. The only related to St. Francis island is this one.” Dirae Erinye selects one of the disks and sets it on the phonograph.
“None of you part Rubbery Man or Rubbery Man in disguise? Nothing against you if you are – just that I accidently set one a fire by playing this record. Had shove the poor thing into the fountain before it melted.”
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 5/25/2016

“Hmm, what are they exactly? Is some kind of message hidden within the music?”

“It was an audio journal of Captain Wyrm; he was out on a scouting mission for Hell – at least that’s where I think the brass is from. These would have probably been handed in to the embassy if he had made it back.”

Dirae Erinyes sets the needle and with some adjustments the phonograph plays.
The man’s voice is worn and the wind howls in the background.“Day 89 on the zee. We are close to home, and it has given hope to the men. However, hope doesn’t feed the stomach. The wind and the bats have taken too much of our supplies. We are hoping to resupply at St. Francis Look-Out. The map doesn’t say much, but its land. Hopefully it’s not filled with those blasted frost-moths.”
“The winds have picked as we’ve gotten closer. We may have to dock for the night. The gunner has reported seeing lights – let’s hope they’re friendly.” There are distant shouts in the background. The wind grows louder.
“I’ll be right back-“ The worried voice is cut short with a thud. They wind and shouts grow louder before silence.


A low pitched hum fills the room, the type of hum that hurts the teeth. A high pitched tone joins it, causing a ringing in the ears.


A smooth feminine voice has broken the silence.

“sovegna vos a temps de ma dolor’.
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina.” Then there is a click and the recording has stopped.

(Edits due to formatting errors.)
edited by Shadowcthuhlu on 5/25/2016

&quotThat last part, at least the last half. It is Italian. ‘Then he hid himself in the flame that refines’, the first half I have difficulty with. The presence of lights and femal voices indicate sirens, but the reference to frost moths must mean they are in a colder area, the north. Wait, I just realized, that is Dantes Inferno, a quote at least. The journey of a man through hell.&quot
edited by Koldun on 5/25/2016

“By the way, that hum was when my poor rubbery friend burst into flames.”

There’s a sigh that passes Amelia’s lips. She expects this to be a very trivial and sordid affair before the night ever clears. But seeing Dirae changes her expectations immediately. For starters she had assumed her new sparing partner would join the crowd, never to join a reserved seat. Next surprise of her life had been hearing that he had a case and in some ways feeling less than thrilled about solving cases in general. But she reserves her ill thoughts and gets the third shock of her life.

That shrill sound practically penetrates through to her skull. She has to hold her breath until it passes before she breathes easy. Her ears still ring horribly even after it passes and is replaced by some language. One she doesn’t recognize. &quotBloody hell, might be a good idea to warn everyone next time,&quot she huffs out. &quotI’m guessing the problem isn’t where the crew disappeared to but rather what happened and who invaded, right?&quot

“Correct. Though finding where the crew is wouldn’t be a bad idea either.”

“That’s if they’re still alive.” She shakes her head still feeling annoyed by the recording. “And I don’t mean simply cause of the boatman passing 'em by either.”

“Do we know anything else about the team? I fear we won’t be able to extract much from this recording by itself.” They move their body forward from the grasp of their chair’s spinal support. “The person quoting this seems to know their religious literature. Either a fanatic from the church, or someone knowledgeable pretending to be. That would match up with Wyrm’s mission, as working for Hell is not always… appreciated.”

“Wyrm’s crew? Not much but then I haven’t gone by the docks or the embassy myself. I’m not going to ruin all your fun.”

&quotI shall ready my corvette, the ‘Brazen Hussy’. Unlike all these civilian ships the Masters allow she is a Navy vessel, lent to our colony at Aestival, and while owned by my sister the Navy likes to keep me on half-pay so they can have me zail her when it is convenient.

&quotIf I can find St. Francis Lookout I shall return to tell of where it is more precisely. I do not intend to land – unless there are survivors to rescue. If I can not find it that in itself shall be useful to know as well. If the Zee herself is hiding an island – something I find not preposterous at all – there is doubtless a reason.

&quotIf you all don’t mind I intend to send a message to my most particular friend. She has a mind that far exceeds mine in most ways, and she has a nature that appreciates mysteries and curiosities as much as my own – a rare quality.

With that the Captain rises and departs, striding confidently out the door. If there is anything to be found in the Sunless Sea, they are clearly confident that they shall find it.

At the door they turn around, briefly, &quotMiss Syrus, the boatman is always at Zee. Death there is quite permanent for most. I shall hope for the crew, but it is a rare voyage to the Sunless Sea that does not involve the deaths of even your own crew. Let us not pin our hopes upon a surviving witness.&quot

{edit because: words}
edited by absimiliard on 5/25/2016

A woman enters the room. She is dressed in an impractical ivory gown, with a black ribbon at her waist. The only color in her outfit is the bright green and extremely fluffy sorrow spider on her shoulder.

Seeing that conversation is in progress, she blushes, waits for a pause, and says: &quotForgive me for arriving late. I was unavoidably detained.&quot

To those unfamiliar, she adds: &quotMiss Appolonia von Ravenscroft. I am sure there will be an opportunity to catch your names and what I have missed when it is less of an interruption. I very much look forward to making your acquaintance.&quot

She smiles at several of the participants already known to her. &quotIf I can be of assistance, let me know.&quot

&quotBetter you to discover than me,&quot she turns back. &quotSend word back when you reach shore again and if you ever discover anything of this mystery.&quot She sits back in her seat only to discover a very lavish woman replace the captain. &quotAll ya missed was getting your eardrums split in half and nothing more. If’n there’s something specific you desire to hear than it’ll come soon. I’m sure.&quot Or in time if things are going to be divided up among them.

The Inescapable Professor subreptitiously licks his fingers, stained with the blood that has flowed from her ears as the recording played. She asks for the nearest person to fill her in whatever played after she became temporarily deaf and ponders. People are all talking, making plans and being generally active. The detective feels annoyed. She doesn’t like to take action without knowing which action should be taken. After trying to discern what, exactly, was making her feel unwell about the recording (besides the sound), she finally have an insight.

The small woman waves her cane asking for attention. She speaks on her best professoral voice:

&quotHey. Hey, you all. Stop for a minute and think before acting, for Christ’s sake.&quot

When she gets some interested glances, she asks, for no one in particular:

&quotWhy were those brass disks even found?&quot

Not everyone seems to understand the importance of the question, so she clarifies:

&quotWhoever spoke those words and turned the phonograph off knew that ‘her’ voice was being recorded. The recording was not an accident. Why was the brass disk not destroyed, removing any evidence of ill-doing? Why was it neatly packed with the others and ‘lost’? We would never be alarmed if those things were not found. They are most decidedly a clue in this case, but a clue to what? Have you ever considered that it all could be some sort of trap?&quot

She turns to the sensible sounding woman with the cane.

&quotSomeone found a recording? Of a woman? Singing or speaking?&quot

&quotAnd the sound of it made you temporarily deaf or otherwise hurt the ears?&quot

&quotI am something of a scholar of music and poetry and dream, if that is any help.&quot

&quotYou are surely right that caution is warranted.&quot

&quotDid the sound provoke any effect other than discomfort and loss of hearing?&quot