1842, not long after Christian’s entry into the club.
Scene 1: Ethan and Léon enjoy an afternoon coffee in the Sun Room, the feature of which is a large stained glass window of the sun and its Ray’s which dominates one wall. Curiously, the stain glass sun moves as the day progresses from dawn to dusk.
Meanwhile, Barnes, having lost himself in the labyrinthine corridors of the club, amuses himself by testing the properties of an ancient “always-going-engine” that he has happened upon.
Eventually, Christian tired of his experiments, sallies forth, attempting to locate the main rooms of the club. His discovery of a door opening upon a corridor of blinding light, and his entrance into same, coincides with the appearance of a small stained glass man in the corner of the Sun Room’s feature.
Minutes later, introductions having been dispensed with, Ethan and Christian enjoy a coffee together (with Léon , onlooking, ever-present), swapping stories. Their discussions are interrupted by the noisy eating and occasional guffaw by the room’s fourth occupant, who is later revealed to be Artur O’Knox.
-Scene 2; O’Knox sends them to the countryside north of London to perform a boon “on his behalf” for the leader of the gypsies encamped there.
-The three find themselves having been already transported to the forests north of London. Christian is pleased to find his armour similarly transported.
- The boys experience a gypsy revel, Christian and Ethan have their fortunes read by Rosalina Toamna
- Rosalina tells them the tale of Boots and the Troll. She commands them to enter Spring, and perform three things: (1) Free the monster, who has been imprisoned by Boots; (2) Regain possession of the monster’s treasures – the seven silver ducks, the golden harp of gladness, the monster’s quilt. (3) Avenge the death of the monster’s child, revealed to be Rosalina’s daughter.
- Christian is warned that for a mortal to see the Courts of Faerie is to gaze at madness. The Autumn folk trade him a spider-silk eye binding in return for his promise that he will, at some point in the future, create a perfect water clock for one of the Autumn folk.
- Upon wearing the silk eye-wrapping, Christian is amazed to find that the Romani whom were revelling are in fact fauns, satyrs and other creatures of fantastic description.
- The boys are advised to follow the signs of spring in the forest to find their way into the realm.
- Having left the gypsy encampment, the gentlemen find that the lights of the revel are dimming rapidly behind them, it appearing to be further away than they had first reckoned. Perhaps they had travelled further than they had thought?
- They noticed that the moonlight, as it cut through the tree branches above, made small, queer pools of light on the darkness of the forest floor. Upon gazing further, it became more or more certain that the pools of moonlight were nothing more than stepping stones on the forest floor. The chaps jumped from “stone” to “stone” until they arrived at a small natural clearing of oaken trees, a double ring of daffodils in its centre, their yellow petals glowing in the moonlight.
-Upon stepping into the double ring, the grass gave way, becoming a spiral staircase delving into the bowels of the earth. The intrepid three followed these stairs downward, espying the reflection of the moon on (what appeared to be) water at the well’s bottom.
- As they approached the water, they found themselves climbing, rather than descending, the staircase. The reflected moon similarly turned out to be the moon in the sky above.They clambered out into Faerie.
-They travelled through the night, seeking to leave the forest. Amazingly, Christian needed no sleep, and felt refreshed and alert, despite being awake for some hours.
- The trio left the forest, which looked upon a lush, green valley. An analogue to the Thames, a shining blue ribbon, cut through the verdant landscape. They ventured forth, discovering Lt. Donaldson, a hidden soldier of Majesty’s 23rd Advance Scouts, in a bush.
- After a short discussion with same, he agreed to lend the three his motorised velocipede, a steam-powered four-wheeled bicycle-like conveyance.
- The walls of Avalon, the Spring equivalent of London
- Within Avalon a market was occurring
- Ethan procured clothes from a washing line to disguise himself and Léon
- Christian needed no disguise as, due to his stature and the unusual nature of his armour, he appeared to be a member of the Boggan race.
- At Avalon castle, the three decided to venture to the dungeons first, to free the monster, surmising that he might act as a valuable ally, should they attempt to take the life of Boots, the Spring Knight.
- The dungeon was guarded by a two-headed giant, whom was befuddled by Ethan’s quick talking.
- Christian went to the basement to release the “monster”. The monster was in a cell locked firmly with a copper-wrought lock, which Christian quickly compromised.
- Inside the cell was a gargantuan, muscled, blue-skinned man. Introducing himself as “Burrows”, he gladly helped the three leave the dungeons, dispatching the giant in the process.
- Burrows and the three quickly (and aggressively) penetrated the treasury. Upon entering, Burrows whistled for his three possessions (the ducks, the quilt and the harp), and the four fled.
- Burrows revealed that the Autumn Lady’s daughter was not dead, and that in fact, the woman in question was a daughter of the Spring Queen whom he had an illicit entanglement with. It appears that the Club-members were being manipulated by the Autumn Lady in order for her to gain the upper-hand with regards to Spring.
- Finding a secreted mirror locket (that had been hidden by Burrows a century ago) under a cobblestone in an alley, the four used the locket to return to London.
- Finding themselves back in London, the three were surprised to find Burrows’ to have been replaced by a hulking, beetle-browed man. They were further astonished to find Artur waiting for them.
- Burrows gave Artur the three treasures (now miniature in the mundane world), as “agreed”.
- Artur asked whether employment might be found for Burrows at the club, him needing to “go to ground”.