John and Basira arrive at the headquarters of the People's Church of the Divine Host in Ny-Ålesund. Locals told them that the site was abandoned, but John can sense the presence of something Dark nearby. They are attacked by Manuela Dominguez, but Basira overpowers her. Dominguez tells them that the rest of the People's Church are dead, thanks to Gertrude Robinson. John compels her to explain what happened to the Dark's ritual and the rest of the congregation.
Dominguez describes the "week of horror" that was meant to culminate on 20th March, 2015, when a solar eclipse would cover Ny-Ålesund and the Dark Star would be unleashed. She and Maxwell Rayner were in Ny-Ålesund with hundreds of ritual sacrifices, while congregations around the world prepared their own rites at the same time. They knew the Institute was observing the group at Hither Green Chapel, but felt confident that their ritual could not be interrupted.
They sacrificed the "still and lightless beast" that had previously harassed the Montauk family after Lynette Montauk defected from the church. The whole chapel was shrouded in unnatural darkness, and Manuela describes her anticipation of the moment they would bring the Dark into the world.
Four days before the eclipse, the ritual in London was disrupted, and Rayner began to grow uneasy. One satellite location stopping should not have disrupted the main ritual, but gradually other congregations also began to fall silent. Manuela used their human sacrifices to maintain the ritual until the moment of the eclipse, when she felt the Dark manifest in the world. However, after a few moments, it vanished, leaving many of the congregation dead or wounded from the brush with their god.
In the following weeks, the survivors squabbled over what went wrong. Rayner took the bulk of them back to Britain to find a new host, leaving Manuela in Ny-Ålesund to tend the Dark Star. She believes that the Archivist killed the others, and that John and Basira have come to finish the job.
John and Basira tell Manuela that Rayner is dead, as is Gertrude Robinson, which shocks her. She tells them that the Dark Star is still in the facility, but that only the highest level Dark avatars have ever survived looking on it directly. John declares that he intends to look at it, and sends Basira out of the room. When he sees the star, he calls it "beautiful" before collapsing in pain; the star itself is destroyed.
Manuela flees after seeing her creation destroyed, and Basira pursues her. John rests for a moment, until Helen appears to report that she has trapped Manuela in her corridors and plans to keep her. She offers John and Basira a shortcut back to the Institute, which John accepts.
- Related Entity: The Dark
- Manuela described the creation of the Dark Star in MAG 135.
- The failed ritual at Hither Green was initially described in MAG 25.
- The "still and silent beast" and the Montauk family were first mentioned in MAG 9.
- Vardaan Darvish and his fatal encounter with Julia Montauk are described in MAG 109.
- Maxwell Rayner's death is described in MAG 73. Callum Brodie, the child he had chosen as a new host, is implied here to be the son of Phillip Brown, the statement giver from MAG 52.
|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- In MAG 158: Panopticon, it is revealed that, for once, Gertrude Robinson did nothing to thwart the ritual. She was testing her hypothesis that it was actually impossible for the ritual of any one fear entity to succeed, which proved true.