Sunday, January 31, 2016
Crossover of the Week
THE JADE SUIT OF DEATH
Charles St. Cyprian and his assistant Ebe Gallowglass battle the Order of the Cosmic Ram, which has unleashed the demon Baphomet and the ancient Chinese sage and werewolf Zhang Su. St. Cyprian uses a “devil-box” formerly used by Carnacki to subdue the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor. Soho’s dockworkers are a mixture of races, including Chinese, Lascar, English and Tcho-Tcho. St. Cyprian and Gallowglass dwell at No. 427, Cheyne Walk. Carnacki, St. Cyprian’s predecessor as Royal Occultist, was once the apprentice to Edwin Drood, his own predecessor. Picking up a letter, Gallowglass asks St. Cyprian, “What’s a Janus House and why doesn’t it have a postmark?” St. Cyprian replies, “The Sergeant has other means of posting letters than Royal Mail.” St. Cyprian and Gallowglass answer a summons from William Melion, who was once a member of the Kensington Clique, a group of occultists that also included John Silence, Saxon Amadeus Dorr, Sar Dubnotal, and Flaxman Low. In Limehouse, St. Cyprian and Gallowglass meet with Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, formerly of Scotland Yard. St. Cyprian tells Robertson-Kirk he was sorry to hear about Hubert, and she mentions Inspector Meisures. Amelia Glossop is a member of the Order. Melion thinks of previous Royal Occultists, such as Drood and his shimmering crystal egg, and Beamish and his hunt for the worms in the earth. Philip Wendy-Smythe claims to know the hidden mysteries of Lemuria and ancient Khem, the Aklo, and how to make the Voorish Sign. St. Cyprian asks if he knows the Hloh Gestures. Wendy-Smythe, who falsely believes one of his personal curios is the idol of Chaugnar Faugn, invokes the myriad and malevolent moons of Munnapor and the roving rings of Raggadorr when he and St. Cyprian are attacked by an animated statue. Wendy-Smythe tells his servant to retrieve the cursed scepter of Ibn-Schacabao, but the butler gives notice, saying he’ll be in residence at the Junior Ganymede Club. St. Cyprian’s unidentified enemy is a magus in the truest sense of the word, on a level with Oliver Haddo or one of that lot. St. Cyprian uses the powder of Ibn Ghazi to expose an invisible menace. St. Cyprian tells Gallowglass to get the arbutus, which is on the third shelf, left of the statue with the head of an ibis; Gallowglass mistakes a falcon figurine for the ibis. Saxon Amadeus Dorr smokes cigarettes made from the poppies of Leng. The sorcerers of Averoigne are mentioned, as is the Westenra Fund. Melion’s servant Ghale brews his tea from the blossoms of the mariphasa, a flower known to grow only in the higher altitudes of Tibet. Sadie Fleece refers to the Starry Wisdom. St. Cyprian uses the sign of Koth, which guards the Black Tower and seals the vaults of Pnath, to bind Zhang Su. Saxon Dorr tells Melion about a Polish nobleman who shares his affliction of lycanthropy, and has lived for centuries.
Novel by Josh Reynolds, Emby Press, 2014. Thomas Carnacki and No. 427, Cheyne Walk are from William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. The Tcho-Tcho people are from August Derleth’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. Edwin Drood is the title character of Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The Sergeant is Sergeant Roman Janus, the “Spirit-Breaker,” an occult detective created by Jim Beard. John Silence is the protagonist of an eponymous collection by Algernon Blackwood. The Sâr Dubnotal appeared in a French pulp series by an anonymous author. Flaxman Low is from Ghosts; Being the Experiences of Flaxman Low by “E. and H. Heron” (Hesketh V. Prichard and Kate O’Brien Ryall Prichard). Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, Hubert de Mazareen, and Inspector Meisures are from Baroness Orczy’s collection Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. Amelia Glossop is presumably a member of the Glossop family from P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves books. The Junior Ganymede Club is a club for gentlemen’s gentlemen of which Jeeves is a member. The shimmering crystal egg is from H. G. Wells’ “The Crystal Egg.” Worms in the Earth are from Robert E. Howard’s Bran Mak Morn story “Worms of the Earth.” Khem and the Starry Wisdom are from H. P. Lovecraft’s story “The Haunter of the Dark.” The Aklo language is from Arthur Machen’s “The White People,” and was also used by Lovecraft in “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Haunter of the Dark.” The Voorish Sign and the powder of Ibn Ghazi are also from “The Dunwich Horror.” The Plateau of Leng is featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos stories. The Sign of Koth and the Vale of Pnath are from Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle. The Hloh Gestures are from Margery Lawrence’s stories about occult detective Miles Pennoyer. Chaugnar Faugn is from Frank Belknap Long’s novel The Horror from the Hills. Munnapor (or Munnopor) and Raggadorr are mystic entities from the stories of Marvel Comics’ Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Ibn-Schacabao is from Lovecraft’s story “The Festival.” Oliver Haddo is from W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Magician. The falcon figurine is the titular statue from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Averoigne is a province of France that is the site of many supernatural events in Clark Ashton Smith’s works. The Westenra fund is named after Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Mariphasa is from the 1935 horror film Werewolf of London. The Polish nobleman is Waldemar Daninsky, a werewolf played by Paul Naschy in a long-running series of Spanish horror films.