September 16th 1914
During a visit to the Hale family estate, the question is raised as to why the house is so empty when it has so much space for displays. Later, it comes to light that the collections were largely gutted in the wake of New Year’s Eve 1882, and a furious battle. Meanwhile, Nathaniel makes a friend in the estate’s groundskeeper.
September 17th 1916
In Bjorn’s quest for a steady and reliable source of mead, Captainess Shandy places a call to her father and organises a hunt for a dragon which has been menacing shipping across the North Sea. The opening shot of combat, however, hits an unexpeted target. Still a dragon, but clearly little more than a hatchling, it was wounded badly, and it seemed that the hunt was coming to an abrupt end, before the mother arrived, swiftly followed by another dragon, presumably the father. A fierce battle ensued, with all members of the party playing their part, even Erwin taking the role of a machine, throwing harpoons mindlessly, thanks to a bargain from his demonic friend. The fight was valiant, but it was unclear which way things would go. But then, the artifact of Loki finally showed its power. In a whirl, Lovi was transformed into a grinning green monstrosity, and put the dragons through a madcap and thoroughly improbable thrashing, before being pulled overboard and finally being separated from the cursed mask. Despite Captain Shandy’s crew being predictably shaken, all retired in high spirits to the pubs of London. But the Norse gods are a careful lot, and this outburst of chaos in the midst of what promised to be one of the most dangerous conflicts in history proved too much for their patience. The leader of the Midgardar Einherjar, Magnus, appeared and told them that they were no longer prepared to take the risk of having Lovi as part of the group. Her powers had been revoked, and her family sent to live with her in England for the duration of the war.
September 18th 1916
Following the events of the previous night, the members of Operation Lark spend a day in London, consoling the depressed Lovi. It’s an uneventful day altogether, but one which the crew are unlikely to forget soon.
September 19th 1916
Having lost the one member of the party, Captainess Shandy, sepite some protestations on the part of Nathaniel, diverts The Lark to Egypt, so that the soldier can visit with his common law family. A night visit to Cairo lets Harriet reconnect with some old friends, and gives Bjorn and Erwin a chance to go drinking and narrowly avoid a fight, but Akilah was nowhere to be found. After following the trail of friends she left behind, Nathaniel tracked her to the town of Ismailia, nearby an RFC base. She volunteered for the war effort, and is helping to manage some of the shipments of oil coming in from the oil fields. After a long talk that lasted into the early hours of the morning, the two agreed to let her stay and do her duty
September 20th 1916
The day would have been little more than another stop-over, time for Nathaniel to spend with Akilah and their daughter. But trouble had simmered over a fight the previous night with Erwin and the other members of the party. Erwin had been concerned over the usage of their time on personal errands, and seemed unconvinced by any of the rationales offere. Another conversation over potions he had brewed lead to Harriet striking him. He stewed in his cabin all day, and when the time came to leave, there was a great sound of crackling and a sharp smell coming from his room. When the party rushed to see him, he was clearly different, and was placing a book on the cabinet. He simply said “It took me some time to realise, but I regretted not saying goodbye properly. Goodbye.” And promptly disappeared.
September 21st 1916
Two members left in four days, Operation Lark was in dire straits, when the message came from England of a potential new recruit. Ex-Witchfinder General Harold Williams had promised to Harriet that he would do some searching through his personal records, to find someone else. The name he apparently turned up was Glynn Owain, member of the Oxford Round Table. He approached him personally and explained to him that same thing he’d sent in a message to The Lark, that he had suspicions over a factory in Wales which had seen a remarkable increase in productivity. The young man joined the party near the factory, and a brief investigation turned out a community of Brownies working at the factory, planted by General Melchett. One confrontation later, he agreed, perhaps more amicably than the rest of the party felt was appropriate, to stop this ‘little bit of mischief’ as he put it.
It has been a trying time, these last few days. The loss of Lovi was a bitter blow to us all. Magnus will not be a popular name amongst us for a long while.
Erwin’s loss was also bitter, though less so. On my part, his aspersions on Akilah and Abilya have coloured my view of him. But he was right, and I wish him well and Godspeed, wherever he may be. Our personal errands are much outweighed by our duty. But all the same, his tone and attitude were not the best for telling us this. I was desperate to save Akilah and Abilya, both of whom have suffered for their association with me. I wished to return them to safety. I know it was a selfish use of the Lark. But what else are we to do?
We are prisoners, trapped between duty on the one hand, and fear on the other. We cannot act to save lives in this war, for fear of escalation. Yet we are part of it, bound by duty to stop its escalation. We are caught between what is right and what should be right. We cannot act as we should, for we are damned either way; by conscience or nation.
Only Glynn’s arrival has had our spirits up, and the browbeating we gave Melchett. Now we head to Africa. I have a bad feeling about what he might find there; If there is one thing I have learnt over the last few months, is that the world is full of as many demons and devils as it is of heroes and saints.