Mage: Dark Materials

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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S01E08 - Into the Mouth of Madness, pt. I

Two weeks later, Ebeltoft has his album launch. The Cabal have all showed up, and so has Alan Brigham, the Technocracy defector who became their mysterious saviour a few weeks earlier. Ebeltoft crowns the event by announcing that he retires from music, to become a private investigator. This prompts a female fan to disrobe and attempt to plunge to her death.

Starfall later visits her in the hospital, but the fan claims to have no recollection of the event. Starfall is very disturbed.

Meanwhile, Blakeney has paid a rare visit to his publishers’ to present his new novel – literary mashup Hansel & Grendel. He is somewhat disturbed to learn that a former employee associated with Blakeney’s “rival” Stewart McQueen has attempted to set fire to himself and the McQueen-section in a prominent book store. A sincerity in Paxton’s voice on camera footage from before the incident leads Blakeney to believe he speaks the truth when he warns of a hidden evil in McQueen’s books. At least, Paxton certainly believes he speaks the truth. Blakeney and Grimm examine the five published books of McQueen’s planned series of six, and both experience traumatic mental sensations connected with the books. A closer inspection reveals a set of clues in the cover illustrations (by the author), which points to the town Theodosia in the Ozark country of Missouri. Intrigued and alarmed, the pair decide to investigate. They contact Ebeltoft Starfall, who agrees to help, as does Brigham. To find out more, Entropy-talent Grimm creates an elaborate Magickal effect with Blakeney’s guidance, and simply walks right into the precinct jail where Paxton is being held. He discovers that Paxton believes that the books are meant to open the way from some horror, but he is unwilling, or unable, to explain exactly what.

Ebeltoft performs his own investigations, and discovers that the books opens the readers’ minds to some nefarious purpose, enough proof that the cabal all agree that they should investigate, especially since Blakeney and Grimm are potentially affected. They book tickets, and travel to Missouri to get some answers.

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S01E07 - Primer

The portal closes, and the Cabal is left gaping. Blakeney shouts out, “Noooo!” The all of a sudden Verity Walker walks out from the undergrowth. “There you are! I have been searching for you for ages!” She has been sent by Cochen to ensure their return should the portal close, and has been given a portal compass to locate another portal in that event. It turns out that there are several portals in this unstable world, for some unknown reason.
The group faces several tribulations before they locate the portal ten feet off a huge cliff. As they ponder how to reach it, a pterodactyl attacks from the sky!
Grimm and Blakeney fire at the pterodactyl, as Starfall launches himself from the cliff and into the portal. The wounded raptor drops unconsciously through the portal, and the rest of the group follow.

It is dark and dusty, but in the little light Blackstone sees attacking cavemen! He launches a mighty firestorm as Blakeney, who has realized that they are inside the National History Museum, shouts out for him to stop. The fire launches the sprinklers, and then, out of the shadows, comes a team of highly armed soldiers! Someone shouts, “Terrorists! Fire!” before a rain of bullets flies through the air, severely wounding Blackstone, who launches another unholy firestorm, ripping flesh from the metal bones of HIT-marks! He falls unconscious, and as Starfall and Grimm retaliate, Blakeney runs to Blackstone’s side. He fishes out Blackstone’s Paradox Bomb just as a HIT-mark is about to activate some nefarious device in its arm. Blakeney jams the bomb into the opening arm and kicks the robot in the groin (for good measure). The Paradox Bomb goes off in a multitude of rainbows, and only a pair of smoking legs are left standing. That’s when the agents in charge enter the scene, and incarcerate everyone. The lead agent has a pock-marked face and bright, blue eyes. He examines the fallen Blackstone, and shoots him in the head to Blakeneys screams of protests.

The Cabal and their friends are brought to some sort of high-tech facility and tortured for two days. Then they are unexpectedly saved by one of the Technocrats! He helps them erase the records of their incarceration, and as they are leaving they are confronted by “Blue Eyes” and his second in command, Miss Parker. Blue Eyes is about to shoot the renegade, when Miss Parker shoots him in the head, allowing their getaway.

They leave via two unmarked cars, and regroup at a diner.

Blackstone is dead, but it turns out that they have emerged from the Lost World earlier than when they went in. In this timeline, Blackstone has yet to make his sacrifice. Verity gets in touch with the Chantry with the desperate attempt to get a message to Blackstone so that he is prepared for the firefight. Nothing seems to happen, there appears to be no effect in tampering with Time.

They get to know their saviour, defecting Progenitor Alan Brigham. Brigham explains that he is fed up with the Technocracy’s policies, and has come to realize that what he is performing isn’t super-science – it is actual Magick. He can no longer stand by and allow the hunt for “Reality Deviants”, who have as much a right to this world as anyone.

The diminished Cabal toast Blackstone’s memory and bid farewell to their new ally.

Meanwhile, Blackstone wakes to excruciating pain…

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