Upon arrival in the village of Sarcelle we set out to see what we could discover. We began with the coffee shop where Mr. Keys and I spent a pleasant morning watching and listening. Not much was observed until Father Geary came and asked his questions which ruffled feathers, enough so that they kept his coffee cup back from the wash. A bit disconcerting that, but try as we might there was no way to retrieve it without revealing ourselves to be in league.
Questions at the hall of records went unanswered as bureaucracy here is more insidious than at home, no help that I was clearly an outsider.
Later, I followed the fellow behind the bar (the man Mr. Keys and Father Geary identified from Scotland) to a house bearing the same MOD above the garden gate. After a short time he reemerged in the company of a small, mousy man carrying a large case. I lost them when they alighted into a distinctive red carriage and left the village.
Nosing around the churchyard I found a headstone bearing the name Gratien Claude and a crown topped with 2 stars and the letters MOD. One of the older clergyman was only too happy to pull down record books and tell me all about the Claude family and how they were well known and unrepentant heretics. In fact, Msr Gratien was the only member of his family to be baptized and buried in consecrated ground. While I was at the churchyard Mr. Keys went in search of the origin of the carriage and discovered that they belong exclusively to a company that runs a necropolis, Leve Necropolis.
Regrouping at our hotel we decide our next move must be to the necropolis. We rest, and once dusk darkening the sky we head out. It is not an unpleasant walk and the countryside is lovely, but the necropolis is walled and the gate locked. There is a keeper’s hut with a light on inside and three coaches lined up along the wall, so we circle the perimeter and find a likely place to gain entry. Quietly and carefully we moved through the cemetery until we find a mausoleum with the name OLDE on the door and MOD above. Things get a little hectic from there. There are three men in robes and undead things coming out of the darkness. The fighting is fierce, shots in the dark, fisticuffs, fire and lightening raining out of the sky. Father Geary is hurt bad and we retreat, making our way back to our rooms to hopefully heal and hopefully get reinforcements from the witch hunters of Paris. ::note to self, don’t get into a boxing match with Mr. Keys::
So, now a witch hunter arrives and we head back to the mausoleum. Adele would not be put off. There are guards at the gate, but with a little charm we manage to get past them and on to the mausoleum. It is unlocked and we gain entry rather easily. Once inside it is easy to see that the space sees a good amount of traffic, but to where? Investigation and a keen eye allows us to see deposits of wax on a handle, which reveals with a tug a passageway down. ::note to self, pay attention to the things you see out of the corner of your eye… carriages arriving might prove important during the meanwhile::
Below we find corridors and a chamber full of evidence of black magic. We also find a trap door that appears to lead up into the keeper’s cottage. We set fire to the chamber and destroy what we have found, but upon our return to the surface we find a very angry gentleman, his man and a handful of gendarme.
To say we did not wish to be arrested is to make a ridiculous understatement, but I did not know how best to proceed until Father Geary bolted and ran. We all scattered in different directions, each of us losing our tail and regrouping, finally in an old ramshackle cottage outside of town.
Our journey back to England was quick and quiet.
I’m not sure if this was a success, a failure, or merely a standard operating procedural stepping stone. I’m sure time will tell. We have put a kink in their operation for the moment, but we by no means have put a stop to them. I am curious to know if we and Father Geary will continue this avenue or will the witch hunters in Paris take it up?
On a personal note: I have much to learn. My skill sets proved useful, and I managed to keep my head when it all went pear shaped, but there are many things I could have done better. I will endeavor to continue to learn. Mr. Keys makes a fine companion. He is self deprecating, but he is not as dimwitted or unskilled as he likes to make it seem. Despite my previous note to self, I believe I might ask him to show me how to defend myself with my hands more.