The Gloriana Campaign: Events Log

December 1585

Note: This document records events in my "Gloriana" RPG campaign. See the introductory page for more explanation. This page cover events in December of 1585.

The Action

Game-World Date
Game Session Date

41. A Winter's Tale Well Told

Wednesday 1-12-1585 to Friday 31-12-1585 December is not a month for travel -- or for much else that involves wandering abroad -- but the Daedaleans do continue with their projects in hand. For example, Charles continues to appear occasionally as Amelia in public [the repeated transformations triggering a minor Scourge Boon for fimself which will have to cut in at some point], and Kate continues to build her business and her court contacts. Kate also takes the time to teach Francis Bacon the basic elements of the Mind Arts, in the context of the Ars Cupiditae; hopefully, this will enable him to defend himself against Hermetic attempts at subversion. Richard continues work at the Tower, and Sir James tinkers with clockwork mechanisms.

More significantly, the group take the opportunity of this month in London to make considerable progress with their theatrical company. Richard has basic arrangements well in hand, and they decide to put on a seasonal masque after Christmas day. (As this will be performed for the general public, it might more correctly be termed a pageant.) Charles, having paid more attention than some to instruction in the Artes Liberales at Cambridge, is assigned to find a story for this among the group's books, and discovers an excellent possibility in the recesses of Arthurian myth; he suggests a tale of Arthur conquering Rome (which can be made safely Protestant in its symbolism), with discussions among the heroes that include some harsh criticism of the Orcadian knights at Arthur's court. A tale which turns back towards Europe may perhaps undermine Raleigh and Dee's dreams of an Atlantic British Empire!

Richard, skilled in writing, transforms Charles's discovery into a sufficient plot for a masque, and he and Sir James create some fine poetic speeches. Sir James also builds clockwork effects and moving scenery, and choreographs some scenes of combat amid the rhetoric. Kate, meanwhile, undertakes to weave a working into all this, using her practical Humanist grasp of thought to ensure that the audiences' minds are swayed to full effect. Thus, Nicholas spends much time running about, suggesting odd changes and giving notes to the cast while Edric, hired to this task, attempts the actual direction of the play. The actors are doubtless bemused that Edric so freely humours such arbitrary interventions, even from a moderately wealthy patron of the arts. Nicholas also provides some sketched scenery design, although this is less successful; although Kate has some skill as an artist, it is not directed thus.

The plan is that the masque will be performed in the Curtain Theatre -- hired from Philip Henslowe -- for five days after Christmas Day, with each performance to be a Will-Working. However, during the dress rehearsal on the Christmas Eve, Nicholas, backstage, accomplishes such a masterfull exercise of Enlightened Will [a critical success] that no further efforts seem needed for the entire series of performances; the design is emplaced among the cast's minds and will radiate outward from there. Members of the group merely attend the performances to observe -- and some of them are thus in place to observe Inigo Pelton's scowl when he comes to observe this entertainment, and understands something of its nature.

Hence, the month ends with a sense of general success, which Charles celebrates by collecting his huge and cumbersome new gun, along with a dress with a detachable skirt (from a dressmaker much trusted by the Order of Reason) and a new, lightweight medical bag, both for Amelia.


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