Howard - Valentine - Possessions And Pursuits
Young Lord Clyro comes across a relic in Istanbul. He is drawn to it. The item, a mirror, exerts an almost supernatural pull, and yet it seems a holy piece. A portal into a higher plane. While churches often attempt to reflect the house of God, the relic offers a glimpse of the city of God.
No sooner has Lord Clyro returned to England when claimants and would-be possessors begin circling.
John Howard’s novella weaves through the impoverished gentry, the arrogant collectors, scholars, servants and those sensitive to the magic.
As ever was, the new head has determined to limit the annual pagan festivities. While seemingly harmless, the very notion of pre-Christian celebrations rankle. Rayment is an outsider, not a participant, yet in “Masque And Anti-Masque” he bears witness to the stealthy contesting.
By accident – no – say chance, or Fate, Phillip encounters the operator of “The Prospero Machine,” one of those coin-operated gadgets that dispenses a fortune card.
The cards themselves offer veiled predictions, advice, charms.
Phillip, impoverish poet (are there ever rich poets nowadays?) is hired to pen new mantras and wisdom for the next ream of cards.
Those who still puzzle over Mazzaroth will be caught in this spell.