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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Man in the Red Mask (Part III)

City of London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, January 1889.

Most gentlemen would have reacted with scorn or anger at watching Hachett count the money he had just been given, considering it a slur upon their professional integrity or personal honour. Lord Hood, however took no umbrage at this practical action. Like Hachett, he had been on occasion in his career subjected to the all too frequent caprice of clients or partners. Hachett nodded his thanks, and quietly left the room. Lord Hood meanwhile picked up the packet again from the table and turned out the lamp, plunging the room into complete darkness. His business concluded for the evening, he left the derelict building as secretly as he had entered it and proceeded back to one of the many buildings spread throughout the East End of London, that served him as residences, storehouse, and archives.

Liam Cassidy one of his trusted lieutenants met him at the door, when he entered the old urban mansion that stood like a towering sentry above the sprawling walled park that surrounded it and isolated it from the rest of the city. One look at the handsome Irishman's scowling face told him something had come up, a something that he did not approve of.  Lord Hood, motioned silently for Cassidy to follow, and made his way to the spacious, luxuriously appointed room that served as his personal study and business office.

"What is it, Mister Cassidy?" He finally remarked when he had seated himself in the large, comfortably stuffed chair behind a huge desk that wrapped around it like a horseshoe. He arched his masked head and looked at his man with a hidden but obviously quizzical expression, as he steepled his hands together just below his jaw. "You, appear to you have swallowed something particularly sour this evening."

Cassidy, standing before the desk, grunted in acknowledgement of his employer's arch and bantering remark. The soot black haired and bearded, sparkling blue eyed and powerfully built Irishman mulled over how to voice the subject which was clearly on his mind. Then shrugged expressively and decided to express himself bluntly as was his usual custom.

"That rust bucket, Sixer, is here to see you."

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