Arcana

The Return to Eureka

Loneliness, and a Gathering

Characters present:
James Carson, Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Karl)
Matthew Stevens, Professor of Symbology (Scott)
Gunther Carson, Travelworn Occultist (Josh)
Oliver Alexandre, Phlogiston Entrepreneur (Dave)
Ethan Tibor, Stoic Butler (Morgan)

Nine years have passed since the events at Bloody Island. Eureka has boomed into a thriving industrial megalopolis. The Carson children and their associates, scattered around the globe, receive a summons back to Eureka, to the other Carson estate…

Through a series of flashbacks, we see the events of the last nine years. In chronological order (not the order in which they were played), we see:

- James traveling to Vienna to meet Gunther, who has just finished his studies. James is in trade in Chicago, watching over Violet and Corva as the two girls finish their boarding school education. Gunther has used the last of his “inheritance” from the state of Jefferson to book passage to the Middle East, there to continue his studies. The two half-brothers travel to a bar, but while James is in the mood to celebrate, Gunther already seems haunted by a spectre of weltschmerz (world-weariness). After a few rounds of absinthe, James puts on a display, levitating a glass and swirling the beer inside with arcane force before drinking it. Gunther can see, through a second sight, the energy that James draws from a pair of his father’s cufflinks. In the crowd, some onlookers whisper, “strega!” (Card: Rest)

- Oliver arriving at the Carson estate in Myrtletown. He is met by the Carson’s butler, Tibor, who asks him for his card. Oliver requests to see Violet, believing that she is in town. Tibor lets Oliver cool his heels for a bit before letting him in to the family’s parlor. Upon realizing that their unexpected visitor is in fact Oliver Alexadre, Mary, one of the kitchen maids, recommends that Tibor go and tell William Carson, head of the Carson phlogiston empire, that Oliver is in the parlor. With his extensive knowledge of family gossip, Tibor knows that Oliver is paid by the Carsons to maintain a small phlogiston supply enterprise. Tibor presents Oliver’s card to Mr. Carson, who barely glances at it before handing Tibor a thick parcel to give to Oliver. Opening the parcel, Tibor sees that it is stuffed with cash. He hands the package to Oliver, who looks inside, then makes a shamefaced exit. (Card: Refinement)

- Matthew, now a respected young professor, returning to Eureka to give a lecture on symbology at Arcata University. After the lecture, James comes up to talk to Matthew, saying he is in town to see Oliver. He remarks on how well Matthew seems to be doing. Matthew asks after James and the other Carsons, and the two make stilted small talk until a young woman who was in the audience asks Matthew to autograph her copy of his popular book on symbols. Matthew and James make feeble plans to see each other again, before two of the professors at Arcata call Matthew over to resolve a debate they are having about Babylonian cuneiform symbols. Matthew tries to tell the faculty members to wait, but James tells him to go and join them. When Matthew enters the professorial discussion, he glances over his shoulder to look for James, but the other man is already gone. (Card: Poverty)

- Oliver and Matthew meeting at one of the Eureka Boardwalk cafes. It is shortly after Matthew’s lecture, and James has told Oliver that Matthew is in town. Oliver insists that Matthew tell him how he is using phlogiston in his lectures. He appears to think that Matthew is some sort of stage magician. Matthew tries to set the record straight, but Oliver is having none of it. Oliver orders them two cocktails swirled with glittering black phlogiston (which Matthew politely refuses to drink). Matthew notices that Oliver appears high or in an altered state as the younger man quaffs his drink. A bright-eyed young inventor comes up to show his schematic to Oliver, who waves him off. Matthew takes the schematic but can’t make sense of it and hands it back. The inventor leaves. Matthew berates Oliver for his callousness, but Oliver says something about litigation and presses Matthew again to admit that he uses phlogiston.

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