Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlefolk.

This blog will be devoted to my literary and cosplay interests and stories set in my own alternative historical steampunk background. I hope people enjoy the stories, as much as I enjoy devising and writing them and that it stimulates their own artistic interests, entertains them or if nothing else fires their own imaginations.

A special note to new readers of this blog, the entries "Nation States" are gazetteers of the nations as they exist in the An Age of Steam, Steel and Iron background, each with a few remarks/observations about each nation as they exist within. Any post headed by the title containing the words "Story Snippet" or "Fragments" is a stand alone, snapshot of the background, they will be developed into fuller stories in future, but at present they serve to give the viewer/reader a measure of what this world is like, what is going on in it and who some of the players are. Full stories, will be headed by their title and a roman number, as they will generally be in several parts.

Comments, suggestions or remarks by readers are welcomed.

I would like to thank the following people:

Yaya Han, for getting me seriously interested in cosplay at a time when things were looking very glum for me back in 2006 with several extended stays in hospital due to illness, and motivating me to get actively involved.

Ashley Du aka UndeadDu, for her unfailing friendship and cheerful support since we first met in 2014 at the Hamilton Comic Con, and for being my Cosplay mentor and advisor.

Sara Marly, for her interest in and support for my writings, since we first met in 2016 at the Hamilton Comic Con and incidently helping me make up my mind to finally do this.

Stephen Thomson, my friend, for his advise and assistance with creating and setting up this blog.

Daniel Cote, my friend and co-worker for his advise and friendship over the years.

The People of the The Aegy's Gathering (particularly Jonathan Cresswell-Jones, Scott Washburn and Jenny Dolfen, all of whom I have kept in contact with over the years), who were brought together in friendship by a certain randomness of chance and a common interest in the Honor Harrington books and stayed together despite distance and the strains of life.

The People of the Wesworld Alternative History website, who gave me the opportunity to sharpen my writing and story telling skills while directing the affairs of Lithuania and briefly France during their 1930s timelines.

My parents Mary Ellen and Logan, my siblings Adam and Danika and various friends both online and at work and play for putting up with me, encouraging and supporting me both in the very good times and the very bad times.

I remain as always yours very sincerely, your obedient servant, Matthew Baird aka Sir Leopold Stanley Worthing-Topper

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Hidden Past (Part VII)

Josephine's malice filled expression abruptly froze, her eyes suddenly glazed over rapidly turning completely a pearlescent white. Her features smoothed into a cool, glacial calm. Something else was now in control of Josephine Rumbleton's body. It's aura was different from the previous possessing entity being cooler, more tranquil and more ruthlessly controlled. The strange white eyes examined the room and it's occupants with a detached but curious interest.

As Sir Nigel and Althorpe watched, Josephine's hair and skin began to slowly grow even paler still and to gradually bleach a soft almost bone white to match the pearlescent eyes. Within moments the woman resembled a living statue of white marble or alabaster. The air about her became even more chill, frost and ice particles flowed about her and wove themselves into crazy vortices and patterns with the slightest of movements.

Those curious eyes regarded the dying woman in her grasp for a long moment, a white eyebrow traced upwards in almost sardonic inquiry and not a little surprise. Her deadly grip lessened the merest of a fraction, finally allowing a by now ashen faced Carmichael to draw something like a full breath. Which she did involuntarily and convulsively. Abruptly the pressure on Carmichael's throat relaxed altogether as did the nerve stopping grip on her wrist. Millicent slide bonelessly to the floor, Josephine gave an almost imperceptible but definite nod to Sir Nigel and Althorpe and then took three rapid paces backwards and away from them. They needed no further urging, the two men quickly gathered up the unconscious Millicent Carmichael and transferred her to a nearby reclining arm chair. While Althorpe attended to her, Sir Nigel turned back to the other occupant of the room and incidentally Josephine Rumbleton's body.

The being spoke for the first time, it's tone and expression struck Sir Nigel as mildly rueful.

"My apologies, Master Redfern, the Gestir if not kept on a tight rein either by my will or the Lady's is inclined to get out of hand."

"Gestir?" Sir Nigel and Althorpe echoed. Gestir was an ancient Scandinavian term meaning guest warrior. The halls of the various kings and jarls of Scandinavia were often visited by impoverished and lordless warriors who were maintained by such lords as a sign of their hospitality and wealth. In return, these warriors would accompany their host to war to show their respect for the hospitality shown them. The reference might have been an offhanded or illustrative remark about the other possessing spirit that was obviously bound to Josephine Rumbleton's body or it could have been quite literal, Sir Nigel and Althorpe had no way of knowing.

"A loyal and powerful undead guardian, as you will have perhaps observed, who keeps watch on this lovely lady in my all too frequent absences." Josephine responded with a hint of a wintery, almost languidly amused smile on seeing their vaguely puzzled expressions.

"Whom, am I addressing?" Sir Nigel asked quietly and carefully.

"We have never met, much less been formally introduced, Master Redfern." A white hand flitted lightly towards Josephine's face for a moment to emphasize the point. "This one however has followed your career with much interest for a long time."

Sir Nigel's white eyebrows went up at that last remark in mild surprise. The shining pearlescent eyes regarded him, the eyes seemed to almost sparkle and glow at him with something like detached amusement then slowly Josephine quietly and politely bowed at the waist in the manner of a gentleman.

"Magister Karl Magnus Schreck, at your service."

Oh Hell. Sir Nigel's thoughts slide to a complete and altogether abrupt stop.

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