Fumus, Confictura, Formido.
These three words adorn the seal on the letter you’ve received. A simple message, of interest only in its simplicity, delivery, and oddity. It reads, “Meet at the Top of 13th hour on the 13th day of the 8th month of 1886: the Tergus room of the Bell In Hand Tavern, Boston. Your life has yet to begin!”
The year is 1886, Anno Domini. Mankind has come to its greatest height of civilization in the Western world, and is expanding civilized behaviour to the Orient East and beyond. The British Empire rules over nearly a quarter of the globe, the youthful American States have finished their first trial of internal strife 20 years past, the Russian Empire has turned insular under Tsar Alexander III, the Ottoman Empire rules the Middle East from Egypt to Iraq, while the French Colonial Republic holds the Ivory Coast, eastern Canada, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Mexico has been free and independent of Spain for over 60 years now.
This is the time of discovery, invention, industrialization, the telegraph, the steam turbine, the newness of electricity and the lightbulb, the typewriter.
This is the time of Science and of rational thought that has abolished superstition and magic…hasn’t it?
This is also the time of secret societies. Cults. 221b Baker Street. Frank Hopkins. Annie Oakley. Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Moreau. The people and things we take in our world to be fictions and fancy have an actual presence here. Perhaps the darker legends have their own presence as well. The end of the 19th century is, after all, but a short time away…