“You have more knowledge of these portals than we possess.” Raguel said. His bald head seemed to gleam in the light of the dawn sun. “There were spells, in the past, which were able to transport wizards across great distances. But those were lost, along with much other knowledge, in attacks on the order by our enemies.”
Edwyn le Fay was not sure how to reply to that. He did not consider himself to be an expert, on those few occasions when he was being honest with himself. He had once been to another world. But he had got there more by accident than by judgement; and he had not been able to get home on his own steam.
“Tell us what we can do to assist.” Raguel said.
“I will, when I need your help.” le Fay said. “Let me set things up, first.”
He set up Falcombe’s viewer and the Magickal oscillator. They came with extendable tripods, and they were the heaviest items in the luggage which he had brought from England. He adjusted the screws on the tripods, to make sure that they did not collapse accidentally. He did not want to appear like an amateur in front of these two wizards.
Amateur? He told himself that he was no amateur. He was a member of the Trismegistus Club, and they didn’t allow just anybody in. He had saved the Trismegistus Club from destruction. If not for him de Ville would have blown the place up.
Le Fay had the advantage that he knew exactly where the vortex was. The vortex had to be some sort of doorway. Perhaps, in the past, it had been a lot bigger, so that it had impinged on the physical world, rather than just the world of shadows. But if there was still active Magick, even so faint that it could not affect the real world, then he was sure that he should be able to do something about it. If he could find the correct vibration of the vortex then he could use the oscillator to strengthen it.
First, though, he would look through Falcombe’s viewer. The device was designed to be an improvement on the mythometer, in that a person looking through the viewer should be able to actually see Magickal radiation. That was the theory, anyway. Le Fay had not really had much history with the device, though. It was a recent purchase.
He looked through the viewer. He could see a very faint distortion in the area where the vortex was. It was like a shimmer on a very hot day. It was not very bright. But something was there.
“Can you see anything?” Raguel asked. He sounded excited.
“Yes, there is something there.” le Fay said. He, too, was beginning to get excited. This was Magick. This was what he lived for. “Come and have a look, if you wish.”
Raguel, and then Zadikiel, both looked through the viewer.
“This must be what Trevelyan is after.” Raguel said, excitedly. “It is a doorway to another world.”
“It was a doorway.” le Fay corrected him. “But it has closed. It may have been closed for a long time. If it was still open then people would still have been disappearing through it.”
“Perhaps it closed shortly after the disappearance of the Lost Colony.” Zadikiel suggested.
“Can you open it?” Raguel asked. His eyes gleamed.
“Yes, I think so.” le Fay said. “Of I can detect the Magick emanations then I can reinforce them with the oscillator. Do it enough and we have a doorway again.”
“I counsel caution.” Zadikiel said. “We do not know where this leads – or what may come through if we open the doorway again.”
“I’ll be careful.” Edwyn le Fay said. But he was hardly listening to Zadikiel. Le Fay felt that he was close to solving the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. Just a little bit more and he might have the answers.
He set up the Magickal oscillator. His was battery powered, which added to the weight, and which meant that it could not be operated for too long. But he would, hopefully, not need a long time to reinforce the Magickal vibrations, now that he knew what they were, and where they were centred.
Le Fay turned on the machine. He attuned the oscillator to the vibrations which he had detected. It was pointed at the vortex – what le Fay believed had once been a doorway to another world.
The oscillator almost seemed to hum. It was working. The doorway began to open. Unlike when le Fay had investigated the Grey Man it did not explode and force him through into some other universe. But he had been careful, this time, building up the vibrations slowly, so that there was no kind of mystical backlash.
A hole appeared in reality. It was the same colourful vortex which le Fay had briefly seen when he had used his Shadow Magick to escape. But as he was not in the world of shadows there was no effect on le Fay. He had too much substance to be drawn into the mystical effect – whatever it was.
Le Fay walked as close as he dared, until he began to feel the pull of the vortex on him. He had neither seen nor heard of this sort of effect, in any of the books on Magick which he had ever read. This was something new and different, and that was exciting to him. He felt as though he was some intrepid mystical explorer. He was sure that if he wrote about this that it would be published in the journals on Magick – especially when he led back to this world the descendants of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Oh, but what plaudits he would have then! For a moment Edwyn le Fay was lost in his own little world, in which he was being garlanded for being a genius. He felt on top of the world.
There was the sound of a gunshot. Le Fay spun around to see what had happened. Zadikiel was on the ground, clutching his chest. Blood was seeping through his fingers. He did not look long for the world.
Raguel was holding a revolver. It was he who had shot his supposed friend and fellow member of the Angelic Movement.
“What?” le Fay asked. He didn’t understand what was going on.
“And so ends the Angelic Movement.” the bald man sneered, as he turned to point the revolver at le Fay. “I serve the Left Hand and Trevelyan. I have always served the Left Hand and Trevelyan. It is easy to serve Trevelyan, for that is who I am. Yet the last of these do-gooder fools never suspected that. And now they are no more. The Angelic Movement has been defeated. The Left Hand is victorious.
“This is a gate to Hell. There is Earth, and there is Heaven, and there is Hell. There was a Black Magician in the colony of Roanoke Island. One of the reasons why he had left for the colony was because he feared that his secret might be discovered.”
“Who?” le Fay asked. He had researched the Lost Colony and had not encountered a single rumour that any of the colonists had known even the most basic Magick. Even though he had a gun pointed at him he had to know who this supposed wizard had been.
“Michael Bishop. But it was not Michael Bishop because Bishop had been replaced before the ship set out from England. The real Michael Bishop had been killed. The man who took his place was really Richard De’ath, who was then a member of the Left Hand. He escaped those in Britain who did not understand power, and who would have executed him as a Black Magician. I suspect that, once he was here, he discovered how to open the doorway to Hell. Through which he led the other colonists as a sacrifice to our masters. And, even then, the Left Hand was victorious.”
It didn’t feel like a gate to Hell to le Fay. He was not sure what it felt like, as he had never actually encountered anything like that. But he felt that he would know it when he encountered it.
“Victory! And soon, with the legions of hell at my back, the Left Hand will rule the entire world!”
Trevelyan’s rant came to an end. He seemed to notice le Fay again.
Le Fay did not believe that this Black Magician would let him live. He knew too much about what was going on. When villains explain there plans it is usually because they believe that there is nothing that you can do to stop them. As soon as he stepped away from the vortex he would be a dead man, with a bullet put in him far faster than he could cast a spell.
There was only one thing which he could do. Edwyn le Fay jumped backwards into the vortex.