“The Bells of Northam” sees St. Cyprian and Gallowglass team up with Harley Warren and Randolph Carter to prevent the rise of a horror out Roman times! It was first published in 2013 in issue 27 of the Lovecraft eZine, which is available here. It is also available in Kindle format, via Amazon

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Carter spoke up. “I can’t believe—surely all of these people aren’t involved in whatever Williams is planning?” He fiddled with his tie nervously. “It’s—I rather hope, I mean, that this won’t be like Innsmouth. I-I don’t think I could stand that.”

“Probably not,” St. Cyprian said. “This celebration is a local tradition, according to my research into the local customs, and has been since Caesar was clashing with blue-arsed chappies north of the border. It’d cause some uproar if it was cancelled, or otherwise impeded.” He reached into his coat and extracted two gilt-edged squares of paper. “He sent out invitations to a private celebration he’s holding this evening, and on the same day he took a letter opener to Northam and his cat, the cheeky bastard. A number of individuals of—ah—an esoteric bent, you might say, were invited to attend.”

“The great and the good,” Warren said.

“More like the mad, bad and dangerous to know. Ms. Gallowglass convinced two of them to relinquish their invitations, for the common good.” St. Cyprian gestured to his assistant, who smiled toothily and patted the pistol holstered under her coat. “It’s being held down in the cellars. We were about to head down, when I caught sight of you snooping about.”

“Warren insisted on looking for that blasted book,” Carter said. He looked at Warren. “Warren, maybe we should go back to London. These…people are obviously quite capable of handling that rascal Williams.”

“Go if you’d like, Carter. But I came all the way out here for that book, and I don’t intend to leave without it.” Warren’s eyes flashed weirdly. St. Cyprian could sense the steel beneath the jovial expression. He recalled that while Silence had said that Warren wasn’t on the wrong side, he’d never specified just whose side the South Carolina mystic was on.

Carter flinched and looked away. He ran a visibly shaking hand through his hair. “It’s just—I can feel…something, something foul, on the air. I can taste it.” He looked around nervously. “Like a—a sourness.”

St. Cyprian looked at Warren. The latter’s eyes had narrowed to slits, and he had a considering look on his face. From what little he knew of Warren’s activities, he knew that it wouldn’t be out of bounds to assume that he used Carter like a canary in a coal mine, if the latter was half as psychically sensitive as he appeared to be. Warren looked at St. Cyprian. “Are you planning on seeing what’s what, Charley?”

“We didn’t drive out for the cider,” Gallowglass said…

bells-of-northam

Illustration for “The Bells of Northam” by Nick Gucker: http://www.nickthehat.com/

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