BB1 comp

Guardian Angels Church Scarborough Street

Built in the style of an old Spanish mission, the Guardian Angels Church looms blank-faced above you. The stained glass window stares out like a wide cyclopean eye. Cars drift down Scarborough Street and you check the time on your phone. You are a magician, able to perceive and manipulate the magical demimonde which exists parallel to mundane reality. Not a bad gig, if you’ve got the knack. You don’t belong to any particular order, though you do have ties with one of them. The Ordo Templi Australis, a group of magicians dedicated to studying the unique magical phenomena present on the Gold Coast. Your old friend, Abramelin, a mentor and friend, contacted you last night and asked you to meet him here. The text is on your phone.

Momentous events. Can’t tell more.

Say nothing. Come alone. Usual place,

usual time.

Hey, even magicians use cell phones. You haven’t seen Abramelin for months. He’s eccentric, even for a magician, but he’s always been there when you needed him and never asked anything in return. You wander up to the water feature and pass your hand through the streams, tracing patterns in the spray. You sense a presence behind you and turn to see a furtive-looking man in a long coat stepping around the hedges. Abramelin, at last.

“Did you come alone?” he asks, peering from behind round glasses and a long, crooked nose. His shoulders are hunched forward and he holds a large package wrapped in brown paper tight to his chest.

“Yes, of course. Why all the secrecy?”

He gestures for you to walk with him and you follow under the arched passageway beside the church, standing beneath the tall belltower in relative privacy.

“Do you know what this is?” he asks, handing you the brown paper package.

You tear off the wrapping, revealing a leather-bound book.  There’s no title, just an embossed image of the sun on its cracked and faded cover. The Book of the Sun. You’ve only ever heard rumours. The first grimoire written in Australia by the convict magus Johann Ackermann, transported centuries ago. You nod, afraid your voice might crack if you try to speak.

“Since we acquired Ackerman’s text we’ve been studying the prophesies. He tells of sacred sites, concentrations of magical energy which weaken the walls between our reality and the next. We’ve been hard at work, marking out these places. You’ll see them all over the place, painted over or marked with a statue. The uninitiated pass right by, all unsuspecting.” Abramelin produces his phone and taps the screen which begins to glow with a pale green light. “Here, I’ll give you access to our Lucerna network. We’ve established sanctuaries across the area, a security measure against those who seek to take the book from us.”

Your phone buzzes and emits a crackling static hum before fading back to silence. In the distance you hear the roar of engines. He jumps at the sound and mutters “Oh no. So soon.” He pushes the book into your hands and says, “Take this. Others have learned we hold The Book of the Sun, and I’d sooner you hold it than it fall into the wrong hands. Get to the Lucerna on Nerang street, I’ll try and meet you there.”

Do you:

Chinatown:  Ignore his instructions and walk down Scarborough Street with your friend? There were a lot of engines revving in unison, never a good sign. Abramelin heads towards the old Court House, his shoulders stiff like he’s ready for a fight. Turn right along Nerang Street after the TAFE building, walk past the tram stop and then turn left into Davenport Street, near the historic Court House building.

Or

Clock Lamp: Take the book and go? Abramelin knows how to handle himself, and he asked you to keep the book safe. Head down Scarborough Street alone, past the TAFE building and turn left in to Nerang Street. Lucerna… Latin for lamp. You’ll see a sandstone carving of a tall ship by the lights, keep an eye out for the Lamp Post. That’s your target.