The Baron’s Proclivities

It is unclear whether the late Baron was a practitioner of the occult arts, enjoyed the infamy of frightening his guests, or pursued a reputation as an unsavoury gothic for other reasons.   In addition to amassing a sizable collection of macabre curios, references to sometimes chilling events taking place at parties within the End and its environs have been found in correspondence between nobles across the Realm.   Some wrote of masked balls with guests unknown to one another searching through the hedge mazes for secret treasures in the form of skulls, colored crystals, bottles of “potions” or “powders” to be consumed, and “wands” to be used on other party-goers.  Others mention moonlight rituals held upon the green at certain astrologically significant dates, the participants clad in all-covering robes and chanting phrases in ancient tongues.

Even the more prosaic dinner parties held in the mansion Arthur Keeping an eye out-2were known to have an aspect of the eerie and unnatural.  His childhood ‘friend’ Arthur often held a place at the table (at the Baron’s right hand, in fact) and the two were occasionally observed to ‘share’ a jest inaudible to the others. It will come as little surprise to the reader, therefore, that mere parlor pastimes were of scant interest to the Baron, at least insomuch as they lacked sufficient trappings of the esoteric and recondite.  It does seem that cards were enjoyed, Whot! and cribbage among others, but played with strangely-marked decks and often with unusual variations (including one apparently called Cripple-My-Liege).  An avid philosopher of the sciences, he was known widely for hosting ‘electrical’ parties and evenings of mesmerism, but he had a particular fascination in undertaking augury and orphic endeavours.

In the end, it may be that the manor will be longest identified as a location for the conducting of séances. These were held often. Indeed, they took place with increasing frequency as the Baron grew more advanced in years.  As was the case for all of Her Majesty’s subjects, he lost many friends, even relations in the Great War.  School chums, crew mates, best fellows.  His interest in speakiOuija Wavingng with those gone ahead  was markedly greater after his return than ever before his time in the service.  He sought assiduously to reach Yolanka Horvath, his fiancee who disappeared mysteriously in 1925 during the performance of The Lazzo of The Drunkard.  Another oft-sought individual was never properly identified; Lord Redmayne would only refer to this soul as “Punch,” insisting to his mediums and guests that the person in question would recognize a call by this name.

In addition to his quite impressive collection of mystery novels, his library included the writings of Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg), Ross Nichols, Aleister Crowley, Robert Wentworth Little, Edward Cayce, Gerald Gardner, Macgregor Mathers, Karl Krafft, Cyril Fagan, and Arthur Conan Doyle.  It is unknown whether he ever took membership in any initiatory societies, but his guests certainly included those who did.

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