Note: this is part of an ongoing series of stories. It is strongly suggested that you read them in this order:
The Dark House
The House On The Cliff
Mr Naith and Mr Naith
Searching For Gideon De Ville
The Evil Plans of Gideon De Ville
Edwyn Le Fay At The Trismegistus Club
An Enforced Vacation
Edwyn Le Fay In Oxford
Back To London
The House Of Edward Lang
The Captive Edwyn Le Fay
The Other Lair Of Gideon De Ville
The Other Lair Of Gideon De Ville
One second they were in London, the next they were… elsewhere.
It was the first time that Edwyn Le Fay had been transported by Portal Magick. In fact, Gideon De Ville was the first wizard who Edwyn Le Fay had met who was a master of that rare school of Magick. Lewis Carroll was supposed to have known a few such spells, back in his day. And the missing Jules Verne was supposed to understand the Magickal theory behind such things. But actually transporting people – in this case two people and a gorilla – from one place to another was something which was incredibly rare.
Le Fay’s stomach had not appreciated being suddenly transported from one place to the next, without going through the intervening space. Edwyn Le Fay, for a moment, thought that he was going to vomit. But he managed to fight the feeling. He suspected that if he disgorged his breakfast that Gideon De Ville would be even less pleased with him than he already was. The last thing which Edwyn wanted to go was to anger this other wizard even further.
Edwyn wished that the gorilla was not holding his arms quite so tightly. He was sure that he would end up having bruises where he was being held. He wished that he had never seen this gorilla. It had all started with his going down to raid the house of that recently deceased wizard, Obadiah Monk. That had been the first time that he had seen the gorilla, in the dark, as he had been approaching the house. If he had not gone down to get those spellbooks then he would not currently be in such a parlous situation. He could be back in his lodgings, trying to learn new spells, quite happily surviving on the monthly stipend from his father.
Edwyn looked around to see where De Ville’s spell had brought him, once he had got over the fact that he had suffered a Portal Magick spell for the first time in his life. He was in a well-furnished room, with stone walls, and light provided by Magick, in the form of faux gas lamps on the walls. But Edwyn knew that they were Magick, just by looking them. A lot of Magickal power had been invested in creating them.
There was a rather worn patterned carpet on the floor. Once it might have been very expensive. But it had become a little worn in a couple of areas over the years, possibly by Gideon De Ville pacing up and down as he made his evil plans.
There was a large table in the centre of the room. There were a few maps folded on the table, as well as items used in Magick – a plumbum, a mythometer, and a few other minor devices.
There was a fireplace in one wall. But no fire had been lit. There were two doors leading out of the room. Where they went to Edwyn did not know. He had no idea where he was. As he could not see the outside of the lair he could, theoretically, be anywhere in the world, depending on how powerful the spell was. He had no idea that they were beneath the streets of Paris.
“Welcome to my other sanctuary.” Gideon De Ville sneered. “You have caused the loss of my sanctuary in London, I am given to understand. It was you, was it not, who led the police there?”
Edwyn Le Fay, fearing losing his arms, did not reply. But it had been a rhetorical question, anyway. Gideon De Ville continued his rant. It appeared that he enjoyed having somebody else other than Julius for an audience.
“Yes, I know that it was, for there are those among the police who will provide information, if you pay them enough – and I have acquired a lot of money over the years. When a person no longer is bound by walls no bank vault is safe. My crimes have been many, over the years, although they have never been reported. The banks were scared that if the people of London realised how unsafe they were that nobody would place their money in them in the first place. Yes, I am the greatest criminal of whom you have never heard.
“The money was only ever a means to an end, anyway. It allowed me to bribe workers to construct my London sanctuary – and this one, as well. Of course I had to kill them, once my sanctuaries were complete. Nobody could be left alive to reveal where I was. Nobody knew that, beneath the streets of London, lived the greatest wizard of the modern era. I know spells which would cause your mind to melt, if you might try to understand them. But I, Gideon De Ville, have mastered them. I have mastered the lost art of Portal Magick. I have discovered some of the lost true summoning spells to bring demons back into the world – although only a fool would summon a creature of such power. I have discovered spells of Necromancy; and I would have mastered even more, if the police had not been led to my sanctuary in London by you. But from the spellbooks of Obadiah Monk I was able to learn the spell which I needed for my master plan; the one which I will put into effect once the Trismegistus Club is destroyed.”
Gideon De Ville paused just then. Edwyn Le Fay waited, wondering whether Gideon De Ville was about to reveal the entirety of his wicked plans. De Ville walked over to stand by the fireplace, where he stood hunched over, absentmindedly tapping one finger on the mantelpiece. He was clearly thinking about the Edwyn Le Fay problem. But De Ville did not reveal his master plan to Le Fay. It seemed that – in the opinion of De Ville – that Le Fay did not need to know what it was. De Ville had no intention of letting Le Fay live long enough to see the master plan of vengeance put into action.
“It was you who was responsible for preventing my destruction of those fools in the Trismegistus Club.” De Ville continued. “Therefore I have decided that it will be fitting if it is you who destroys that building, and the weak and foolish wizards who laze within it.”
That meant that De Ville was not about to kill him, Le Fay thought. But the younger wizard did not like where this conversation was going.
“You will return to London, and you will arm yourselves with explosives. I think that you should be able to strap yourself with a great number of sticks of dynamite about yourself, hidden beneath the overcoat which you are wearing. You will go into the heart of the Trismegistus Club, and then detonate the dynamite. You should manage to kill most of them, I think. It will be a fitting end for you, considering how you have messed up my plans.
“If I was able to, I would transport you to near the doors of the club. But experiments have shown that it is not wise to take explosives through mystical portals. I do not want you to explode until you are within the walls of that pathetic club.
“I do not wish to return to central London yet, not even briefly. I understand that fool of a policeman, Detective Inspector Steel, is watching for me to make some reappearance. Sources at my disposal suggest that he may even have hired some wizard in an effort to trace me…”
De Ville thought for a minute. Then he began searching the overcoat which Le Fay was wearing. He removed the knife, the mythometer, a sachet of sand, the keys to Le Fay’s lodgings and the marble. De Ville noticed Le Fay’s puzzled expression when he took the marble out of the coat pocket.
“Ah, I see by your expression that you do not recognise this. Julius, let him speak. Le Fay, what is this.”
“A marble?” Le Fay said.
“I can see that it is a marble, you fool. What is it doing in your pocket?”
“I don’t know. I have never seen it before.” Le Fay answered truthfully.
De Ville held the marble in his hand, and cast a spell. Le Fay recognised it as being a spell of detection. Le Fay marvelled at how many spells De Ville seemed able to cast without exhausting himself. The evil wizard had already cast two Portal Magick spells, at the very least, and now a spell of detection, without appearing to be the least bit tired. Le Fay doubted that if he could have cast such powerful spells without knocking himself out. De Ville, despite being in his sixties and hunchbacked, must have been as tough as an old boot. Either that, or his mastery of Magick was so much that the spells no longer exhausted him, as it might other wizards.
“A spell of tracing has been active until recently, searching for this marble.” De Ville said. “The annoying Detective Inspector Steel is cleverer than I have given him credit for. But such cleverness will not save him. He will die, just like the rest of my enemies. But the Trismegistus Club and its members will die first. Yes, they have escaped once, but they will not escape a second time. You will undo what you have wrought; and those fools will be condemned once more.
De Ville sighed, and moved away from the fireplace to stand in front of Le Fay. He smiled at Le Fay, although it seemed much more like a grimace to the younger wizard, revealing as it did the stained, yellow teeth of the older man.
“Now it is time for the geas.” Gideon De Ville said. “Ah, but I know what you are thinking, little wizard, that geases cannot be used to command people to bring about their own destruction. It is such nonsense which is taught at places like High Tor. But there are geases, and then there are geases, and I have mastered ones thought lost and, if their existence were known, would have the school of Geases condemned to illegality, along with Curses and Necromancy and the like.
De Ville cast the spell; it was not a geas which Le Fay was familiar with. The younger wizard immediately felt the Magick take effect on him, as De Ville laid down the instructions of the geas: to go and purchase some dynamite, as soon as he was in London; to strap it to his body beneath his overcoat; and to then go to the Trismegistus Club and, once he was in the room with the other wizards, to blow himself up – and not to delay or inform anybody as to what he was doing, or the fact that he had a geas cast upon him; and not to attempt to have the geas removed.
The instructions were ended. The spell was complete.
“It is time to return you to London, because you have work to do.” De Ville said. He smiled again, another grimace of bad teeth. “Without the marble no one will detect your arrival. I will transport you to the outskirts of London. You know what to do when you get there.”
Edwyn nodded. He knew what to do. He had to go and get some dynamite, strap it all over his body, walk into the Trismegistus Club and blow himself up. With the powerful geas on him he knew that he would not be able to resist.
It looked like he was not going to see the rest of this other secret lair of De Ville. Edwyn Le Fay did not even know where it was located. It could have been anywhere.
Edwyn Le Fay did not want to go back to London, because to do so would be to take him that much further to his death. He wanted to do anything which would delay his demise. He tried to open his mouth to ask to see the rest of this sanctuary. But the geas prevented the words from coming. He was not allowed to delay.
De Ville stepped close to Le Fay. Words of ancient Magick were intoned. And then the two wizards were no longer in Gideon De Ville’s other secret lair, the one beneath the streets of Paris.