CROSS PLANES: Deadlands: From the Journal of Erebus Bullfinch

August 15th, 1883

As autumn approaches I can scarcely guess where the spring and summer of this year have gone. It was late February when Simeon Whately’s bequest of his personal library and collection of artifacts was donated to the University. Soon afterward, the Head Archivist of the Natural History Department and my boss, Doctor Reginald J. Balsam, became all consumed by his examination of a rare and delicate book within the dead man’s donation.

Most in New England are aware of Simeon’s role in the Boston Children’s Fund and the string of disappearances of Beantown orphans associated with it. While Police couldn’t prove the children were the victims of foul play, as no bodies have ever been found, no arrests were made even though Simeon was tried in the court of public opinion and essentially became a recluse for these past thirty years.

With Dr. Balsam focused on the mysterious tome that has left me to oversee cataloging the man’s artifacts. As a younger man, Simeon carried on his family’s tradition of travel, often in the company of his late twin sister Silf, and the artifacts donated hail from many strange and exotic locales. I’ve inventoried a yeti’s skull from Nepal, the preserved carcass of a Mongolian death worm, and the skeleton of a giant from Vermont.

However, I’ve spent the last two weeks focused on a large ruby set in a golden frame that matches the description of the Siege Perilous from several sources trusted by the University, including Paracelsus and Saint Germaine. I beseeched Dr. Balsam for aid as I do not feel that I am experienced enough in my work yet to handle something as important as this find could be. While Dr. Balsam was very clear that his research superseded mine he did persuade the Chair of the History Department, Dr. Edwina Rosewater, to aid me in my work. At first, Dr. Rosewater was very skeptical of my conclusions, but in the last week  her opinion has dramatically changed as more and more sources keep confirming my discovery. Edwina recently procured a copy of the Grand Grimoire of Merlin Ambrose which claims that during the full moon of August, known as the Sturgeon Moon, the Siege Perilous’s gem will be transmuted into an emerald for approximately one hour and if the wielder knows the right incantations they can open a portal to…somewhere else. I wish that information could be more clear as I’ve uncovered a number of possible destinations ranging from our Moon, to the realm of Faerie, and even to Hell itself.

Edwina…Dr. Rosewater and I have decided to test this theory out on the first night of the Sturgeon Moon in four day’s time.

I’m uncertain what I am hoping to find. If the Siege Perilous exists whatever mythic items might be real? Excalibur? The Spear of Longinus? The Holy Grail?

Part of my reservations come from the fact that I have grown certain that a tall, thin man seems to be observing me here at the University and outside my boarding house of Maple Street. I’ve warned Edwina but thus far she doesn’t think she is being watched yet.

Dark times seemed to have grown common place since our War Between the States and if this discovery is real could it become a bright light to burn away the growing darkness? 

We will know soon enough.

Power: On the three nights of a full moon the Siege Perilous may be used to open a doorway to the Hunting Grounds that will last until dawn. The doorway is open both ways and does allow beings in the Hunting Grounds to enter our world. Additionally, if a being trained in the Occult skill gains a success they may open a gateway to the Hunting Grounds at any time and become Fatigued and any beings within 30″ of it may make a Notice trait roll at +1. On a Raise the being is not Fatigued and at the Notice roll is at -1. The being can close that gateway at any time and will close immediately if they go unconscious or die.


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