Name: Darien James Mason
Age: late 40's
Eyes: Dark Blue
Hair: Brown, characteristic handlebar mustache and tuft on chin.
Build: Superbly Fit
Formal: Dresses impeccably in a black suit top hat with white ruffles. Some call it "classic", some call it "hopelessly out of date."
Possessions always on his person: Never seen without his doctor's bag. Especially fond of his radium goggles. Carries a bejeweled cane with him at social events.
Manner of Speech: American accent (Marylander), subdued by decades of life in Fallen London.
Manner of Movement: "quiet, purposeful strides"
Physical Health: Very healthy, occasional bouts of laudanum dependency
Extrovert/Introvert: Extrovert. Easily prompted to elaborate on his studies.
Mental Health: Very strong-willed, but always slightly off-kilter. Only two recorded stays at the Bethlehem Hotel.
Goals/Dreams: To unlock the secrets of Fallen London and reconcile the differences between the physical laws of the Neath and the Surface. Also an avid pursuer of the Correspondence.
Hobbies/Interests: Avid reader and collector of scientific, medical, and anthropological literature.
Talents: Drawing, writing.
Vices: Has been known to get slightly tipsy at parties.
First Impression: A mustachioed American
Philosophy of Life: "Hatred and Jealousy are bad for your blood pressure."
Occupation: Doctor and Surgeon (that burdensome division between the two professions in English medicine vanished after the Fall)
Education: Privately tutored at the Mason Plantation outside of Baltimore, sent to medical in London. Completed his training after the Fall. Barred from the University after that business with the ______________.
Home: Primary Residence is a three-room flat at the Bazaar. Also has several hideaways/offices in less grandiose sections of Fallen London, including a luxury townhome, a spare room over a gambling den called the Sixes and Sevens, and a cottage near Watchmaker's Hill.
Finance: Unquestionably wealthy. Well connected in the highest social circles. Published various works of fiction and non-fiction. Acknowledged connection to the Brass Embassy through his adopted daughter Ama, a half-devil, who works as an assistant to Mr. Bloodwing, a senior devil at the Embassy.
Marital Status: Single
Sexual Preference: Unknown. Has been spotted visiting houses of ill repute with doctor's bag in hand, ostensibly for "business calls." Further questioning invariably leads to the discussion of his Black Ribbon pin.
Animal: Koen, a black kitten with red socks, tail and ear-tips he rescued from a game of Pass the Cat.
Drink: First Sporing, Caligula Coffee (Special Blend)
Food: Frequents a kosher delicatessen on Ladybones Road.
Scent: "There's nothing like the smell of a freshly-sanitized operating theatre!"
Thing to Do: Research
Animal: Giant Thunder-Bats
Drink: Black Wings Absinthe
Food: Rubbery Lumps
Thing to do: Wild goose chases at Wilmot's End, bailing his brother out of jail, theological husbandry
Name: Darien James Mason
Gabriel stared for a few seconds before he closed his mouth. He shut his eyes, swallowed, and gathered the strength to stare his brother in the face again.
"You just ate..."
Dr. Mason set the platter stacked high with cracked beef ribs aside, and dabbed the edge of his lip with a napkin. It was a stark contrast to the savage hunger he had just exhibited.
"Thank you. I needed that."
Gabriel pulled up a chair, finally daring to sit across from him. He looked behind him for a moment, up through the window where the silhouette of the Bazaar loomed uncomfortably close.
"So do you mean it this time? You've given up on that Well business?"
"Yes, Gabriel. I...I reached the precipice where Science could no longer..." He rubbed some of the grease off his fingers. "In the third cabinet..."
"I already had a look." He grinned as he reached under the table and set the two large brown bottles on the linen. "I always thought you preferred wine, brother. Is this some new venture of yours? Like the acid mints or the spore toffee?"
Darien shook his head. "Open one."
A flick of his ring, and the cap spun onto Darien's pile of bones. Gabriel held the neck of the bottle under his nose. He grimaced, placing it arm's length from him on the table.
"Are you KIDDING me, Darien? That's VILE! I've smelled better things in the Rookery!"
Darien gazed back through eyes reddened from lost days of sleep. "I took a sample of what they used...He wanted me drink it all in one sitting. Drink to oblivion. And that was the least repulsive suggestion."
"And what made you stop?"
"He wanted me to betray you. Or to be more exact...arrange for you to betray me..."
Gabriel leaned back and shook his head, covering his eyes. "What kind of Biblical nonsense...!"
"We promised after we saved Wren..."
"We would never betray each other..."
"Not for the Game. Not for the War we never fought. Not for the devils." He pointed towards the swirling cloud of bats that obscured the lights of the Bazaar. "And especially not for them."
Gabriel looked up, and chuckled as he cracked a weak smile. "And that goes double for Mr. Eaten!"
The brothers jumped from their seats at the sound of the shrieking bats and flapping wings, just on the other side of the window.
Wren ran into the dining room to Gabriel's side. He coddled her as the terrified black-and-red kitten in her arms arched his back and yowled.
"Hear, Hear..." mused Darien as he closed the curtain.
The iron bars of his cage clattered from a savage kick. He woke with a start, and he smacked his head against the bars of the cage.
The cage was perhaps large enough for a marsh wolf, but the man imprisoned with in was forced to curl up in a ball. The powdery ash of the Forgotten Quarter stung his eyes and left his throat as dry as parchment.
The lantern hanging from a remnant of an equine statue bathed the area in gold. At first he thought it was a woman looming over him, with shoulder-length scarlet hair that matched the tailed jacket. But as his tears drained the dust from his eyes he saw the horns that arced from beneath the locks. Then he beheld the malevolent stripes of black and red that framed the bone-white face in a perpetual scowl....staring straight at him with eyes burning like coals. He began to tremble.
"Mr. Thomas Griffin..." Bloodwing knelt beside the cage, brushing some ash off his boot with a white glove. "You were apprehended trespassing on the grounds of the Brass Embassy, in the act of burglarising several offices...including my own." He rose to his feet again. Thomas recognized the devil's style of dress from old pictures from the surface. Pictures of fox hunters.
"It wasn't my idea! It was Jameson's!" He shouted. "It was the Lord's work, he said!"
The devil shook his head, and grinned very slightly. "A common misconception. In fact...stealing from Hell still counts as a sin..." He slammed the ball handle of his brass cane against the cage. "YOU JUST MADE IT PERSONAL!"
"J-J-Jameson..." Thomas whimpered.
"Oh, your friend?" Bloodwing pointed with his cane to the gentleman behind him. He was likewise dressed for the Hunt, but only his burning eyes could be seen. Had has skin vanished like a ghost? No...a flash of fangs as he licked a streak of ash from his lips. His skin was the same shade as the absolute darkness of the Neath.
"Roger Jameson was ransacking the office of my coworker, Mr. D'Wir'X. He made the astoundingly stupid mistake of fiddling with his favourite telescope..."
A wet smack as D'Wir'X hurled something large against the cage that dropped to the ground. A head caked in ashes stared back silently at Thomas, frozen in a scream. A feathers of a long dart protruded from an eye socket.
The other devil hissed, "Beware of Medicis bearing gifts." Thomas screamed and shook the bars of his tiny prison in desperation.
Bloodwing continued as he drew a key from the inside of his jacket. "I read you're quite the accomplished mushroom-hopper. I so crave a real challenge." A turn of the wrist and a heavy click. "That's why I've waived the manacle requirement." A tap of the cane and the door of the cage swung upen with a long deep groan.
Thomas rolled out of the cage into the ashes. He stumbled a couple times before he rose to his feet. His working-class brown outfit was ruined, and his shoes were missing.
"After we catch you, the contest will be between which of us will rip you open to find your soul first!" He aimed his cane towards the desolation of the ancient boulevard of shattered stones that once was the Fourth City.