Mage: Dark Materials

S01E18 - Dead Set

Having travelled to Bowen Island in New England to star in a teen scream film, strange things start happening in the build-up of a big storm.
The director and production team go off the island to work out details, while the remainder of the crew and the cast stay at the guest house on the island.

After having found an old newspaper from the seventies detailing grisly murders on the island, the group find a strange clearing behind the house. Something seems to be buried there, and when poking in the dirt, they find a grisly hook.

Soon, people start disappearing, and the vicious hook turns up together with wet footprints inside the house the cast and crew are staying at. One of the actors, Tommy, seems to be responsible, and then claims that it’s the producer who is behind it all, staging it as part of the movie. Grimm determines that he is still not telling the whole truth. For one thing, it doesn’t explain the disappeared cast and crew members.

As they are confronting Tommy, a massive lightning burst illuminates the outside, revealing a dark figure outside behind the glass door Tommy stands in front of. The group watches powerless as the glass explodes inwards, and a massive hand grabs one side of Tommy’s chest, while the grisly hook buries itself in his flesh on the other side.

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S01E17 - Showdown at Thunder Butte

With the only lead being William Jackson’s story of how John Dunbar betrayed the Traditions at Thunder Butte, the Cabal decides to venture out to South Dakota to experience the place for themselves. Grimm is unable to join them as he gets an acting gig in a film shoot, and travels to New England.

Having secured a permit to explore the sacred place, the cabal is burdened with a seemingly mad Native American, Sunkmanitu Ob Waci, as their mandatory, local guide. Sunkmanitu leads them to a cave on the butte, wherein Blakeney finds massive cave paintings that he interprets as telling the story of how the people who lived there imprisoned a terrible spirit of storm and thunder.

Meanwhile, Sunkmanitu has started a fire at the cave entrance, and as hallucinogenic smoke envelops the Cabal, he starts recounting the tale of how John Dunbar and his Indian friends succeeded in stopping an evil spiritmancer from releasing the Storm Eater into this world… The tale is so vivid that the three feel that they are actually present, walking in the shoes of Dunbar and the others, experiencing their memories.

When they come to themselves, they realize the terrible truth – someone is trying to free the Storm Eater again, and Ebeltoft’s mother and her Cabal might actually have perished trying to stop them…

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S01E16 - Halls of Power

Back at Lyndhurst, the cabal leaves William Jackson in the custody of the Chantry officials.
Starfall goes back to studying his mother’s notebook, to gain more insight into the circumstances that led them to Jackson. He finds a few symbols that seem similar to the symbol they found at the Devil’s Backbone. He enlists the help of linguist and historian Blakeney, who manages to find references to the mysterious symbols in texts going as far back as Europe in the Middle-Ages, and also found outside Roanoke. He seeks out Helen Chambers to find out what the Verbena know about this, and learns that they have knowledge about a strange cult or sect that have strong ties to nature. He fails to learn more, as his interrogation session turns… somewhat more personal.

Ebeltoft drinks himself stupid, and the following day travels to downtown Manhattan for some medicinal outdoors Tai Chi. Benny picks up a strange scent, and leads Ebeltoft to a similar symbol spraypainted on a brick wall. Trying to investigate, Benny is intimidated by a mangy stray dog, and Ebeltoft encounters a will that seems incredibly frightening, full of terrifying rage.

Back at his Sanctum, Blakeney cloisters himself and performs extensive magickal rites to gain more insight.

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S01E15 - Whispers Underground

The Cabal is led to a secret construct underground where they discover an abandoned pre-Technocracy base, and the bronzing equipment. While Brigham operates the equipment, they are attacked by a shadowy creature with fangs, mangy hair and pallid skin. It grabs Grimm, drags him towards the ceiling and bites him savagely in the neck before Blakeney brutally rips Grimm away from the creature by grounding him magnetically to the floor. They manage to drive the creature into the bronzing machine, and performs the process on it.

They free the bronzed man, but discover that he is not John Dunbar. However, he holds much information that will be of value, and they have him transported back to Lyndhurst Manor for further questioning.

Having handed him over, the Cabal are left to their own devices. But have they rid themselves of the responsibilities, or have they opened up a Pandora’s box of new ones?

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S01E14 - The Cambridge Connection

The following day the Chantry of Elucidated Brethern holds its monthly Assembly of Cabals. Blakeney is announced as the leader of the Henosian Club, and it is agreed that Brigham is allowed to join the Chantry as a probationary member, provided he swear an Oath. Ebeltoft has him transported to the Chantry, and Brigham is shown around and introduced to all the necessary people.

After a private meeting with Strange, the Cabal decides to travel the Astral Gate to Cambridge with the Bronzed Man, in order to look into debronzing him.

The Cabal is met by a rental van ordered by Starfall, and make their way to London, and the agreed meeting place arranged by Matt Garrett, the Misty Moon pub. The contact, who did not give his name, was willing to show them the location of the bronzing facility, in exchange for the Cabal taking on a coke bottle containing a demon.

Blakeney had severe reservations, and contacted Professor Strange to inform him of the deal. Strange approved, and Blakeney magickally transported the bottle to Strange in America.

The contact led the way, with only a brief stop to purchase more suitable clothing for Starfall, who came dressed in leopard tights and a revealing top.

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S01E13 - The Bronzed Man

The Cabal processes the information given to them by Matt Garrett last episode. It seems the Cabal of Many Thoughts were especially concerned with one person – Lt. John Dunbar, a confederate soldier in the Civil War. It is unveiled that he is a crucial element in the darker parts of the history of the Chantry, rebelling against it and being declared a traitor, even going so far as to be the bane of the mysterious Harmonica Man. After having left the New World for London, Dunbar lived under the name Alexander Jackson, and records indicate that he was apprehended by the foundling Technocracy in the late 19th century. According to Mr. Garret’s formidable font of information they discover that Dunbar was bronzed, and shipped to a Technocracy warehouse in New York. With the help of Brigham, the warehouse is located and found to be guarded by only a single watchman and outdated technology. Grimm and Brigham design a plan to infiltrate the warehouse with Blakeney’s counsel, and Starfall prepares a distraction in the shape of an impromptu Tesseract live gig infused with Mind Magick. Brigham and Blakeney infiltrate the warehouse dressed as Technocratic agents – complete with black fedoras, and manage to gain custody of the crate believed to contain bronzed man. The Cabal reconvene at Brigham’s lab, and the crate is opened. Lo and behold: Despite the Cabal’s many doubts as to the veracity of the process of bronzing, the crate contains the bronzed for of John Dunbar. Blakeney decides that it is time to include the Chantry, and contacts Strange, who is suitably impressed. Although Strange is able to open a small portal to communicate through, it is deemed that Brigham’s sanctum is too full of electronics to rend a full gate into Brigham’s technologically cluttered sanctum. Blakeney located the nearest place with perfect conditions with the help of the Name of the Wind, and then instructs Grimm, Starfall and Brigham to create a shared Effect to conjure up the perfect route to the location. Grimm and Blakeney transport the bronzed form to the gate, and depart for the Chantry with Dunbar.

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S01E12 - Conspiracy Theory

Starfall manages to track down Matt Garrett with the help of Brigham. He divulges everything the Cabal of Many Thoughts tried to uncover before they perished. It seems that the history of the Chantry is far darker than suspected. But what does it mean?

Blakeney convinces the publisher to guarantee that his next two books will see print as payback for having recovered McQueen’s last draft.
Grimm continues trying to look for meaning outside of college. His first attempt at a normal life is starting a job as an actor, his first assignment being a small bit part on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

The Cabal has their first official meeting, and Blakeney is elected leader. They agree to call themselves The Henosian Club, as a reference to their attempts at unifying their various Paradigms into one, interconnected Truth.

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S01E11 - Tales of Manhattan

Blakeney and Grimm go to Witwick, where Blakeney instructs Grimm in how to discharge a Paradox-build-up, by using himself as subject. Starfall continues to look into the events that led to his mother’s death. He enlists the help of turncoat Technocrat Brigham.

Grimm tries to make sense of life outside the College, but ends up numbing his existence through partying. He finally realizes that he needs a job, and has Starfall find him a job as an extra on a TV-show.

Blakeney goes through McQueen’s manuscript and “defuses” it. He also starts writing a new novel, based on Grimm’s life, and convinces his agent to try to sell it.

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S01E10 - Into the Mouth of Madness, pt. II

The Cabal arrives in Missouri, and immediately begins research. Starfall enlists Brigham to attempt to gain an understanding of the Resonance in the Pattern, by sending a low-frequency audio pulse from a local radio tower. He identifies two distinct discords, one from the lake area, and one from the mountainous region known as the Devil’s Backbone. Meanwhile, Blakeney uses his contacts to find out that McQueen has a lake house nearby. With Grimm’s aid, he manages to find it, not far away across the lake. They rent a boat, and set across the lake. They arrive at McQueen’s lake house, and he is there, writing away at his latest book – - the end of his Great Design. Blakeney manages to make him divulge as much as possible, and it becomes clear that he must be stopped. Grimm grows increasingly nervous with what he sees as goading a madman, and contacts Starfall and Brigham. McQueen’s drug dealer shows up, very nervous, delivering McQueen his “medicine”. Brigham and Starfall arrive just as the dealer is leaving, and he is spooked, firing several shots after the two mages, who manage to duck away, and hurry to the house after the shooter is gone. After a final confrontation, McQueen gives Blakeney the script, telling him to deliver it to be published. Blakeney misunderstands initially, but Brigham catches the drift, and makes sure the Cabal comes into possession of the dangerous document. As they are leaving, the local sheriff appears, investigating the reported shootings, and the cabal manages to seemingly inadvertently finger McQueen as being in possession. The madman out of the picture, they turn towards what is perhaps the greatest horror before them: whatever is trying to break into this world from below the Devil’s Backbone…

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S01E09 - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Two weeks earlier. Blakeney gives Grimm a specific trial to unravel the mysteries of Prime, and thus be able to see the Pattern more clearly. He sets a task – locating and identifying Tass within the study chambers – and Grimm sets forth with determination. While meticulously searching the chambers, Grimm recalls a series of tests of varying degree of intricacy set down by Blakeney in the High Umbra years ago. By allowing him to visualise theory Blakeney taught Grimm to better understand the interconnectedness of all things and how to channel his talent for Entropy into probability manipulation rather than destructiveness. Figuring out the parallels in his experiences, Grimm is able to open his Third Eye and locates the Tass – in a lost sock.

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