Earlier this week, my brother and I visited England to attend the Coronation of King George IV. Since the House of Hanover had been founded, the Schmidts &the Sherburns have been close friends. The Sherburn's mage, the infamous Liam Pendragon, was also there. I'd met him in Prussia many times, he often stayed for years at a time to study music. He seemed distressed over the health of his new King, having lost George III in way I heard him describe as 'undignified'. The nerve of this man. I did tell him, that one of his prophecies to me had come true; I think it was near a century ago, he told me about a new form of medicine that would be born in my home country, by a man named Hahnemann. He was right, I've heard great things about homeopathy, & it works better than Humorism which I hear Liam is greatly opposed to. I suggested to him I could send one of these doctors to England to treat his King if he was so worried. He told me bold faced that Hahnemann was a sham.
Liam baffles me sometimes, but at least we can both enjoy music together.
Excerpt from Ernst Schmidt's journal, 1820
Liam has a bad habit of coming to Holland with little notice. He came with a note from Arthur, requesting the small cottage he had here be tended to once again. I understand though, he refuses to treat his melancholia with conventional means like bloodletting or leeches, and prefers to paint or play music. He loves Holland and its one of the few things that makes him happy. He was despondent when he came but when I showed him my new set of paints, he smiled.
I'd known the man since 1610 & I think his melancholia is caused by the fact that he can predict wars so accurately. Liam must have known about the Thirty Years War long before the conflict had even earned its name. We went out painting earlier today and he told me he sometimes fantasies about eating yellow paint like Van Gogh. I don't know who Van Gogh is...but he must be important in the future.
Excerpt from Johannes De Jong's journal, 1822
Engraving of Arthur training Will in magic, by Pendragon, 1740.
Immortals are capable of having children with humans and other Immortals. A Higher Partblood is an Immortal kin with at least two Immortals in their lineage, like Mme. Madeline Sherburn, who's descended from both Arthur and Marianne. A Lower Partblood is an Immortal kin who is descended from an Immortal, but are removed by several generations. Most members of the Modern Ministry of Time (including you, dear initiate) can claim they have an Immortal as their great great grandparents. Wholeblood Immortals are incredibly rare, and it's suspected they are born from the earth itself.
All those who have Immortal blood in their veins often pledge their lives to their ancestor by way of sealing contracts, which bind them to whichever King or Nation they serve. All those who are bound share their power and cannot betray each other. In the modern age, all Immortals, new kin and old must also tie themselves to the United Nations, which would make violating its conventions and laws impossible.
In the modern age, the occupations of Immortals and their kin have evolved from soldiers and spies to their Kings to positions that serve their People. These can range from STEM occupations, environmental science, healthcare, humanitarian efforts, museum curators and historians or even positions within INTERPOL and the UN and of course the Ministry of Time.
Excerpt from Ministry of Time Administration Resources 2016
Pictured above, jpeg. image of Merlin Pendragon in physiotherapy, taken by his mother, Elizabeth Sherburn, 2010.
There are only so few Immortals in the world (hardly more than 3 or 4 in each country, on average) so little is known about how they're born, but it is known that they cannot die by conventional means.
Immortals do not age, but they can suffer illness, injuries or poison the same as their mortal brethren. An Immortal may 'die' but a fatal wound will not truly kill them, and they'll be well and breathing again within a few weeks at most. As long as their tied country, or any other Immortal they've bound their souls to are healthy and powerful, Immortals cannot even be killed by other Immortals.
Immortals also have the ability to perform magic and become mages, though some are more skilled than others. All Mages have Immortal blood, but not all those with Immortal blood are Mages.
A Mage's powers can range from conjuring fire to summoning a storm but they cannot predict the future. Some Mages use methods of divination ranging from tea leaves to tarot cards, but one can never truly know their fate. No matter how powerful, Immortals experience the world the same as their mortal counterparts, one day at a time.
Excerpt from Ministry of Time archives.
Arthur. I'm returning to England. Please make preparations. I'll sail aboard the SS Normandie and arrive in London in 6 days. Letter to follow.
Telegram from Liam to Arthur, May 7, 1937.
My dearest, Arthur
I can't take it anymore. I want to come home. I need to be there in Europe with you, Marianne, Johannes, Felix everyone. I cannot explain now but something is coming. William might have told you about me and the effect my prediction of the Hindenburg had on me. He might think that the disaster has passed but this is only the start.
You cannot understand the gravity of what will soon be upon us, and I want to be by your side the whole time.
William will not care but I do.
I do not intend to cause you anxiety but you must know, from here on in, history has its eyes on us, and I want to give it a good story to tell.
Your Lionheart, Liam
Letter from Liam to Arthur, dated May 8 1937
CW: Mention of Nazis, wartime injuries
(redacted) Pendragon and me had visited (redacted) so Washington could work on (redacted) with the other (redacted). He's still reeling from Pearl Harbour. Nobody knows yet but his wounds will never heal. He'll be like me, but missing a leg. But Pendragon is keeping optimistic and until Washington is well enough to fight, he'll be assisting Canuck with her efforts at (redacted) and (redacted) work under Pendragon.
If there's one thing I admire about the Sherburn family, it's their determination in the face of an adversary.
Despite my prediction that this war will last at least 12 years and most of us, less than that, Pendragon and Canuck are determined to half that time, no matter what cards they are dealt.
Huginn had also paid a visit. He didn't recognise me though. (Redacted) when he (redacted).
Anyway I'm glad he understood how important secrecy is at (redacted) especially concerning (redacted). Huginn was still incredibly star struck when he caught sight of (redacted), and was enamoured by the (redacted) that (redacted). Pendragon didn't want to hear a word from Huginn. He's had quite enough of the future for now.
I insisted Pendragon let Huginn take a photo of him with (redacted) but he refused at first. Not only was he still recovering, we cannot let anything leave (redacted), for risk of (redacted) falling into Nazi hands. He finally agreed when I told him we could send the negatives to the future with Huginn, so at least something of us could survive the war: so when people look back, they'll know how hard we fought. Though he refuses to believe my prediction, as he doesn't want such a thing to be necessary, he allowed Huginn the chance.
I'm glad. In spite of everything, he still has a fire within him. That's what will make him last as long as he does. I am uncertain of the future after my own death, but at least I know Pendragon will never surrender.
Excerpt from Liam Pendragon's journal, dated 1942, recovered from Nazi forces in 1945.
Resin-coated photograph by Merlin Pendragon, Bletchley Park, 1942
It pains me to write that my dearest friend Liam is suffering from melancholia again. Usually his clairvoyance would present him a solution, but I think this time it is the cause. It must confuse him, his actions in the recent decades are proof enough. He's been hurt by the wars, but not like most soldiers. I don't think he feels grief, I think he's homesick. Its been years since he's returned to Europe.
I try to help him the best I can. I feed him emetics as the local physician advises, to balance his black bile, but the attempt often fails (it doesn't help that he actively resists any & all treatments, claiming for the next 150 years he cannot be truly helped, a challenge I take seriously).
Liam prefers to treat himself, without any regard to Humorism. Honestly, I don't understand him at all. He is a learned man, yet he resists all science that will help him! What can painting or his violin or this stretching he calls YOGA do for his melancholy that real medicine can't?!
Excerpt from William's journal, early 1816.
Today marks mine and Liam's 30th day on our journey back to Boston. It has been a long voyage from Holland, and Liam's condition is not improving, in fact I þink he is getting worse. Each day we grow closer to our destination, he grows quieter. He always used to confide in me his þoughts, but he's seemed distant lately. It was for þis reason I sent him to Holland, for I know he enjoys painting and its one of the only þings on þis earþ þat helps him.
Johannes tells me his melancholia has not improved. I did tell ye Dutch Immortal þat Liam he has more black bile þan most people, Liam told me himself, and it makes perfect sense, why he is often like þis. I was somewhat displeased when I found that Johannes tried treating him, despite my warnings. Liam has always hated bloodletting, preferring painting or music. Ye most improvement I've seen in him was when I brought him a violin from Austria.
I appreciate Johannes' efforts, but I must trust Liam knows best to care for himself. I can only hope þat once he returns to Boston, he will improve.
Excerpt from Arthur's journal, 1763
Fibre print photograph taken by Madeline, Regent's Park, 1909
My Dearest Liam,
The most peculiar thing happened today, I found a stowaway in the seaman's quarters. You see, one of my men had taken ill with scurvy&our surgeon was treating him with boiled vinegar, but then a voice called out from a closet, saying feeding him fresh lemons would be more effective! This man claims his name is Merlin Pendragon and insisted he is my great great grandnephew. When I read his lips, they read 'MCMLXXXIV'. I do not mistake my writing. You&I know this is impossible, there is no Door on my ship&sending someone through a Key that far would be a death sentence. The man has our crest upon his chest, &another I do not recognise on his torso, I fear tis the mark of an enemy Immortal. I think the man is looking to cause trouble for the John Company, as he was looking for Arthur. The look of surprise on his face when he learned I was a privateer, not an officer of the HEIC was amusing to say the least. The man is an enigma.
In any case, I have locked the stowaway in the brig for now. When we meet again, we shall decide what to do with him.
Your dear friend, Alistair Sherburn
For St. Andrew&Scotland, I will say this in the most amicable terms possible. You are my friend&mentor, but you are also a bloody buffoon! He is indeed your grandnephew! The crest cast into his flesh is proof enough! Do not tell me you could not feel the magic from that seal, you will put it there yourself! &the other crest, on his torso, if it looks like an image of a globe nestled within olive branches, that is the icon of the United Nations. I cannot explain it right now but he poses no threat at all to us. Trust me, he is not a spy; he's just a history professor. Please, release him and let him return home.
I am sending this letter through a Key with a courier in the hopes this letter finds you as swiftly as possible.
Your faithful servant,
P.S. he is right about the lemons, James Lind will publish a treatise about this next year.
Excerpts from letters between Alistair Sherburn and Liam Pendragon, 1752
Arthur's son, William, is growing up to be a kind hearted and ambitious young man. He's taking to his arithmetic & history lessons well, but his magic skills leave more to be desired. He nearly burned the house down when he unsuccessfully cast the fire spell 'logi' which spurred Arthur into a panic. Of course that spell is quite powerful and casting it unsuccessfully on the first try is not uncommon. I told him to keep calm and carry on.
Thankfully, young William has a great tutor in Arthur and his skills should improve soon. Even I was able to improve mine own magic skills under Arthur's tutelage. I had finally learned to summon a storm (the amount of energy that coursed through mine veins when I successfully cast that spell for the first time was thrilling, frightening and euphoric.)
In other news, Arthur insisted I draft him a letter to Marianne, one of the senior Immortals from France, simply to brag that he had claimed the New World first. (I did not argue that we are certainly not the First People here, [redacted redacted redacted]. All my attempts to open mine Immortal kin's eyes to mine knowledge of the future and acknowledge these people at least a few centuries earlier than history says we do have been fruitless.)
So I drafted the letter. Apparently I've got the best handwriting and reading skills than most of the other Old World Immortals. Obviously, none of the other Immortals from Europe have travelled further than the Ottoman Empire. Arthur credits mine clairvoyance for mine skills. I'll let him think that.
Excerpt from Liam's journal, dated October of 1627
pictured above, digital image of Huginn studying in his new office at the Ministry of Time, submitted to his private social media, Aug 2016
In the 14th century, multiple mages discovered Doors of Time scattered throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Immortals fought over control of these Doors for their Kings.
The first iterations of the modern Ministry of Time were organised in the 15th century around the world, with the intention of ensuring time flows as it is supposed to.
After the Second World War, the United Nations organised all of the world's countries' individual time travelling groups into the Ministry as it is known today.
In modern times, Immortals have become history's custodians with the goal of maintaining history as it is recorded, regardless of which Nation they serve.
Doors and Keys of Time must only be used for research or study. Using a Door or Key for the purpose of warfare is considered a war crime and is punishable with erasure.
Excerpt from Ministry of Time mission statement and official employee handbook
Pictured above, security footage stills captured in May 2016
I have changed mine name again, some vicar in a small town had me tried for witchcraft which I was of course guilty of. Once I crawled out of the dirt I took flight immediately. I died as 'Christopher Evans', a name now stained. Call me Liam Neeson instead.
In oþer news, I have concluded ye catalogve of all ye known Doors of Time vnder yovr control. It's qvite an impressive nvmber, þovgh not as much as ye Spaniards or ye (redacted), but it is more þan what most of ovr Immortal kin can claim. I have devised a formula þat can predict when and where more Doors will come into existence as time progresses and þrovgh intense stvdy, have learned how þey operate. Ye problem abovt the Doors is þat þey lead only to specific locations and specific times.
Which is why I have devised anoþer meþod of travel--keys. By taking into accovnt, ye Earþ's rotation and ye position of stars, I can create a key þat can tvrn any door into a Door of Time.
Vnfortvnately, ye same limitation þat plagves ye Doors limits mine own creation--one can only travel backwards þrovgh ye Keys and Doors. Keys can let one travel hovrs or days into the past to any location on þis globe (with ye right calculations and magical prowess) but þere is no way back to the origin location oþer þan waiting for time to catch vp or vse of anoþer Door.
I am still working on a solvtion to þis, bvt for now, I shall not recommend a hvman vse Keys for travel fvrþer þan 1 or 2 years into the past. Not even for vs Immortals wovld I ever allow travel fvrþer þan a few years wiþovt a way back home.
I have ye honovr to be yovr obedient servant,
Muninn, Liam Neeson.
Excerpt of letter between Liam and Arthur, circa 1635
Pictured above, copper engraving commissioned by Pendragon, 1636
#31daysofhorror Day 6:
"Cabin In The Woods" (2012)
Dir: Drew Goddard
Wri: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard
D.O.P.: Peter Deming
A group of teens travel to the titular cabin finding... well exactly what you'd expect. Concurrently, an office of hard-working white collar workers face the most important night of the year. If you somehow have gone this far without knowing the plot of this film, I'd say just go for it.
An absolute pleasure to watch as a horror fan. Equal parts referential and reverential. The film has so much love and respect for the genre and the intrinsic reasons we are drawn to it time and time again. As funny as it manages to be, it also works as an excellent entry into the genre as well.
The movie features a wonderful script by Whedon and Goddard with ridiculously quotable dialogue and a great cast. An early pre-Thor turn from Chris Hemsworth (though the film was released in the spring of 2012 it had been shot in 2009) is a fun plus.
The last few days have been quite a surprise, all five of us are together again on somewhat cordial terms. Both Arthur and Madeline arrived for diplomatic reasons, and Marianne visited to help oversee the construction of Bartholdi and Eiffel's statue. Of course once all the meetings were done, me and Will gave our visitors a tour of New York. Will looked the best since his war with (redacted). He's recovering, slowly but surely.
I think Madeline helped a lot. She taught Will to take pictures with her TLR camera, a Carlton model from London. Madeline has lots of different camera models from France and Scotland and even Germany. I'll admit I am jealous.
Yestermorn we ventured out to the future site of the Statue of Liberty.
Will can't wait to see it completed, of course it will be a spectacle to behold, an icon of freedom that will welcome immigrants around the world for centuries to come! It was wonderful! I could hardly contain my excitement, seeing the silhouette of Lady Liberty, slowly forming under her scaffolding and us Immortals from America, England, France and the recently birthed country of Canada-who will soon become some of the strongest allies in the world-venturing around New York, bickering like old friends. I spent nearly 6 rolls of film on them! I wanted to take as many pictures of us together as possible: I know days like these will be few and far between. I know what will happen to us, and what will happen between me and Will.
He'll do things that will make me resent him for decades.
I know it will take centuries, but I want this country I have adopted as my home to live up to the words that have not yet been cast in bronze upon a statue that has not yet been completed...
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Excerpt from Muninn's journal, late 1885.
Pictured above, digital reproduction of a fibre print by Pendragon, 1885. Jpeg. image taken by Elizabeth Sherburn, 2015.
Inktober Day 4
Today, the first public demonstration of gas powered street lamps occurred at Pall Mall in London. But I was not fortunate enough to see it, I'm still on my journey to Quebec to warn Madeline. I told Arthur about the street lamp and made a note of it a few years after the war ended. I hope he saw it, I would have liked to accompanied him, but I doubt Arthur will let me set foot on his island again any time soon. Not after what I did. And not after what is about to happen.
Of course, our nations are trading again and I've seen him on a few diplomatic occasions, but I think it will be a while before Arthur trusts me again.
I can remember we used to spend the time between our slumbers reading books by gas lamps, a recent invention that fascinated us both. He told me once about life before oil lamps, he'd burn his hands often. So I told Arthur about the future, where lights are powered by electricity(of course I said 'cold fire', I would not want to open that can of worms so soon) that would not burn him (unless he touched a circuit but that would be hard to explain, even for me). I even told him all the lights in London would eventually surpass the light of stars.
He didn't truly believe me, I understand. It sounds absurd and light pollution will not be a problem for another few centuries or so.
I do miss our late night outings, where we just sat under the stars.
Good lasting friendships are hard to come by. Growing close to humans hurt, but good relationships with Immortals are hard to forge. What with all the back stabbing involved. First, I sided with Will against Arthur...now I'm going behind Will's back to warn Madeline of something Will hasn't even begun to conceive yet. I need the Sherburn's trust again.
Excerpt from Muninn's journal, dated Jan. 23, 1807.
Pictured above, aquatint copper engraving commissioned by Pendragon, early 1700.
Join @canuck_fan_dan and myself at the @tricitysupercon Con this weekend!
Although this is planned to be a digital release series with physical trade paperbacks, at the show will be special, limited edition physical copies of issue #1 . Folks in Saskatchewan had a chance to pick up copies a few weeks ago and now it is Ontario's turn!
Don't miss out!
Inktober Day 2
Birth Name: Liam Payne (?)
Sealed/Human Name: Liam Pendragon
Birth Date: prior to 1607
Id Number: MDLXXXII (presumed)
Birthplace: London, England (presumed)
Status: Alive, Active
A partblood Immortal who came to the New World, he made his first contract with Arthur Sherburn before breaking it and forging a new one with William James (pictured left) after the American Revolution. A gifted mage, he can accurately predict the future and created many of the keys the Ministry uses today. Today, he holds multiple contracts and he was the first Immortal to tie their soul to the United Nations.
Excerpt from Ministry of Time employee docket.
Pictured above: Artist's rendition of Muninn and Wash 'fleeing DC like bitches', commissioned by Madeline Sherburn of the Dominion of Canada, 1815
This speaks to me SO hard. This is literally the process my brain goes in everytime I'm working on a book...especially my own. Comic books...for me at least is such a mentally taxing affair. In particular when I work on Blackthorne because everything in the book is me doing it. But it's so rewarding when I get to the last step and I have other creators, friends, family and complete strangers tell me how much they have enjoyed the story and what is to come. ☕🤘✏ #comicbooks#canadiancomics#CCBA#CanadianComicBookAlliance#blackthorne#artistsofinstagram#theartofcolinwork