As you approach the grand old manorhouse that is Cl0ckw0rkings it is immediately apparent that it has undergone a rather distressing… change. The well-kept wrought iron fence which fronts the house is now rusted and festooned with cobwebs, the open gate itself hanging precariously askew upon its hinges. A coffin stands upright against the low fountain wall, not quite sealed. From within emerges a ghastly glowing radiance and sounds which surely could not come from a human throat. Cats and rats and bats can be seen skittering, fluttering, slinking about the grounds, the shadows seem alive with them.
From the house itself, sickly green and blue illumination can be seen from most of the windows on the upper floors, whilst the lower emit diabolic reds and oranges. The whole facade seems thick with spider webs, mosses, and fungi, with an overall air of disuse and decay which is quite unlike its usual state. There is however a small orchestra playing within, some macabre jig or other, music to which the dead might dance. Also within might be heard voices, human voices, raised in conversation, laughter and song as the living celebrate Life and honour the Dead.
Welcome to the Masque of All Souls. You’ve arrived just in time.
The housekeeper takes whatever outerwear you care to surrender. She’s in what must be her usual livery, but her face, hands, and hair are made up to look as if she’s spent a few weeks in a grave before returning to her duties. The foyer and staircases to the upper levels are entwined in black vines and draped in grey mosses; the only illumination is fitful, and provided by foxfire candles. Just within and to the right is the spacious parlour. Cobwebs, low-lying smoke. Bats rustling eerily in the corners. A full skeleton sits in one chair, head resting in a bony hand, teacup in the other ; several skulls bedeck the walls, shelves and mantel. The music is muted here, it’s a perfect place to sit and talk with friends. Two servants in a black robes, wearing two plain white-face masks (one over the face, one over the back of the head) stand by to refresh drinks and offer small finger foods for the guests who choose to spend time there.
The conservatory and garden at the rear of the house are the heart and center of the night’s celebrations. A small orchestra is on stage at one end of the room, in formal attire, faces painted as skulls. Servants garbed much as the ones in the parlour move about with trays of drinks for the guests. Along one wall is a long buffet table with hot and cold foods and features both Neath cuisine and surface fare. A half-dozen or so performers are also here: A tall “mortician” walking about on stilts, two dancers twirling ribbon-wands, a juggler in full harlequin regalia who juggles skulls and jewels with equal facility, lastly a slender contortionist who is doing things with his/her body that no mortal human being should ever countenance.
Come in, introduce yourself to your host (Gabriel Morgan) and hostess (Merriwether Fawkes) for the evening and your fellow guests. Let the revels begin!