Rupert Merriweather Letter # 1 (1895)
2nd January 1895
It is my sincere hope that most of you are still alive, sane, and that you are still combating the many horrors that plague our small island of ignorance. By ‘island of ignorance’ I do not of course mean the United Kingdom, but I mean the world. There is a philosophy that was held by our ancestors that there are malevolent forces not of this world in the reaches of the vast cosmos and that we tend to float by unnoticed on our little ‘island of ignorance’. However, once you have stripped away the facade of reality which you did during your encounters with bothWalter Corbitt and then later in hopefully dispelling the creature that I in the folly of youth had had a hand in raising, you realise that you cannot simply unlearn what has been discovered and cannot truly go back to that blissful state of ignorance. For some the only escape is the oblivion of death, for others it is the sweet release into insanity, I pray though that this has not been the case for any of you, although I suspect that it may well have been.
I have written a series of letters, of which this is the first, that I hope will continue to help to guide you. It is my main regret that I am not going to be there in person to try to help you, but thus is the nature of mortality.
I do not fully understand the true nature of all of the horrors that you may encounter during your investigations. Indeed I feel that if anyone truly understood all then they would either be insane or fully consumed by the horror, therefore a burden shared is far easier to carry. To this end it is important that you know that you are not alone and that you realise that you have allies.
There are four groups that I know of that you may encounter upon your investigations, indeed you have already encountered one and I would not be surprised if you have not had dealings with the others at this time. Of the four groups, the first can be safely called allies, the second are uneasy allies, the third are an unknown commodity and the fourth and final group will be openly hostile to you. I daresay that other organisations do exist, but these are not known to me.
The Agents of the Crown
This group can safely be called allies to your cause, although their cause and yours are not identical they will intersect at several times and they can be relied upon to come to your aid if their goals at the time do indeed match yours. They are concerned only with direct threats to the British Empire and to Her Royal Highness Queen Victoria and her immediate family. Therefore they would not have aided you in the Walter Corbitt affair, but if what you are looking into has connotations of Imperial security then they may be prevailed upon for aid.
I do not know the full details of the history of the Agents of the Crown, but I do know that their leader is the Queen’s second son Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, who took over the role after the death of his father Prince Albert, the Prince Consort. However, Alfred, in part due to his associations with the Royal Navy, is more of a figurehead and that the actual leadership of the Agents of the Crown lies with their Deputy Director, a man that refers to himself as M in all matters pertaining to the Agents of the Crown. I know who he is, and I amcertain that he knows this as he is quite possibly the shrewdest man in the British Empire, he can most often be found at his club, The Diogenes Club and I suggest that you meet with him at your earliest convenience. A small clue as to his identity, he has a very famous brother.
The Agents of the Crown consist of several men and women, some of whom have very interesting abilities and are referred to by M as aether-men, others are purely human agents, some of whom just happen to be quite exceptional in their chosen fields. Anyway, I will leave the rest for M to inform you of if you choose to meet up with him.
This group of men, and yes they are all men, can be regarded as allies in the loosest sense of the term. Like the Agents of the Crown, they are concerned with matters of Imperial security, but their goals do not stop there. Admittedly I do not fully understand their goals, but I do understand that they seek to create a regimented state, not just in the British Empire, but all over the world and that they have made significant inroads in most of the more civilised areas of the world.
From what I have been able to learn, they seek to rule everyone and everywhere through a strict series of laws and regimented order, with a draconian series of punishments meted out to those that do not follow their ideals. In other words, some kind of law and order that removes the individual’s rights of free will. They are vehemenently opposed to the other worldly creatures and entities that you may have encountered or at least heard of, as they see these as the personification of chaos and so in this regard they are allied to you, but they seek to completely control and so it is probably wiser to have dealings with them only at a distance.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
A somewhat unknown entity. Whilst I am certain that the majority of its members are nothing more deadly than amateurs with an interest in the occult, I have suspicions that amongst its ranks are some powerful people. The greatest problem with this society is that so little is known about the Inner Orders. The Outer Order members I am certain are quite harmless, trying to predict the future in tealeaves or through rudimentary astrology, but nothing more sinister than that.
It is probably also reasonable to assume that many members of the Inner Order are also not dangerous, however, the three main visible leaders are likely to be another matter. Dr. William Wynn Westcott I believe is probably the weakest of the three, but certainly the most visible, he appears to be the one that initiated the formation of the society and the one responsible for bringing both Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Dr. W.R. Woodman into the fold. The rumours that I have heard inform me that Mathers is the more powerful of the three, but Woodman is a completely unknown entity, in my researches I have not been able to find any history of the man and so therefore the name may be an alias.
The most disconcerting information that I have regarding this society is that these three are not the actual leaders of the Golden Dawn and that they take their orders from three more known as The Secret Chiefs. Who are these Secret Chiefs and what are their goals?
To this end I would suggest trying to infiltrate the Golden Dawn, but under no circumstances share any of the information that you will have learnt during your investigations until you are certain that you can implicitly trust them.
The Chapel of Contemplation
You have already come into contact with this organisation and it is to my eternal shame that I did not give you the information that I know about them when you encountered Walter Corbitt at that house in Soho, but at the time I thought that I was protecting you, but as I became more ill, I realised that I could not protect you and so I have written what I know about them in this letter.
Their exact goals are unknown to me, but I can be fairly certain that they involve opening some sort of gateway to enable their foul masters to gain dominance over the world. It is not known for certain whom their masters are, but I have heard the names Cthulhu, Shub-Niggurath, Hastur, Yog-Sothoth and Tsathaggua all named in conjunction with them. It could be that they worship all of these entities, or it may even be that these entities are merely the servants of a much more powerful being that they seek to bring to our world. One thing is certain, you must take all pains to ensure that this does not happen.
Of their earthly agents, we know that their leader is a former churchman named the Reverend Michael Thomas. He was active in London, but it was The Agents of the Crown that captured him, but somehow he escaped from custody at Dartmoor before he could be tried, convicted and executed for the crimes that he had committed. How he escaped is not fully understood and even the great detective Sherlock Holmes himself could not figure it out. Since his arrest there have been several sightings of him, with the most promising being in the United States of America, but unfortunately the Agents of the Crown have no jurisdiction there and have had to resort to working covertly without any aid from the American officials. If they have any knowledge of his whereabouts it is unknown to myself and I doubt very much whether M would choose to divulge such information unless he has good reason to.
Other agents of the Chapel of Contemplation are however still active in the United Kingdom and you may have already encountered some of them. The only one whose existence that I do know of is Dorian Gray, a one time Agent of the Crown and quite possibly the most dangerous man in England. If you do encounter him I seriously fear for your lives, the man cannot be physically harmed in any way, merely shrugging off any and all damage that occurs to him. It is indeed fortunate that the man is such a hedonist that he has not become more powerful than he already is. M has informed me that Gray’s main weakness is that he becomes bored and so cannot devote himself to any one particular study. What his main role is to be is unknown, the Chapel certainly seem to use him to help them in the recruitment of their agents and it is suspected that it may have been the case that the mysterious Jack the Ripper murders may have ended as suddenly as they begun due to Gray possibly recruiting the mysterious man into the ranks of the Chapel of Contemplation for further tasks that are unknown. However, it may also be the case that Gray himself was in fact Jack the Ripper and that he merely got bored of the murders, but this all remains pure conjecture and I suspect that the true nature of the Ripper murders may never be discovered.
Most of the information that I had uncovered about the Chapel of Contemplation was told to me by my good friend Marion Allen before his murder in Bristol in 1845. Allen had briefly been a member of the Chapel of Contemplation but had abhored their rituals and had fled from them, unfortunately they caught up with him, but not before he left the box in my safe keeping. It is certain that the Chapel of Contemplation will attempt to reclaim this item.
I do not wish to horrify you with any of the details of the rituals that he told me about regarding their organisation, but they are certainly amongst the most horrifying and degenerative acts that I have heard of. Allen of course was very much a low ranking member of the cult and therefore ignorant of a lot of their aims and goals, but he did confirm that the Chapel’s tentacles reached all over the world and that it is unlikely that any area of the world has fully escaped from their influence, with some organisations and indeed governments serving their interests without even realising it.
Finally I would suggest that you all name people that you trust to carry on the good fight, so that there are a maximum of twelve names that Lloyds can contact in the hope that you receive my other letters to you in the future. I wish you all the best of luck in your future encounters with the great evils of the world and hope that you are all still alive, and sane, when you receive my next correspondence.