Doctor Marcel Ghostraven was not a man well regarded; In fact he was not a man regarded at all -and more to the point, he was not a doctor. He was however, a man of many mysteries and even more talent. His shoppe, Doctor Ghostraven’s Devices and Sundry (though many say it was not always so called), sits on a nondescript corner deep within the heart of the inventor’s district of Meiville. The clouded glass of the windows are cracked with age and disuse and the locks have all rusted shut. Even when history made it imperative that someone involved with the Shoppe be located, not a single soul could recall anyone, except the good Doctor himself, ever entering the place. Even Mayor Perryn, who took a strange personal interest in the man and acted as self appointed chief investigator into the Doctor’s disappearance, could recount little of the place -too often getting lost in a strange story of flying a magical air ship around the moon.
What people could recall -those old enough to remember the events of that strange night -was the way the sky seemed to be torn at it’s seams. The clocks, they would say, had all turned back on themselves and strange sounds and even stranger creatures seemed to claw at the clouds in the starless sky. They would tell of a blood moon and of lightning crawling across the rooftops of the terrified town. They would tell of winds so fierce that sky captains for hundreds of miles were set off course. And they would tell how Doctor Marcel Ghostraven, who wasn’t a Doctor at all, raised up the Celestial Heliograph saving the town (and quite possibly the world) before disappearing, never to be heard from again.
Now, it is not so uncommon that a building as eerie and abandoned as the Devices and Sundry, or a person as strange and reclusive as Doctor Ghostraven should become the stuff of local lore and legend. It is equally noted that the townsfolk, given such fantastic elements, are skilled spinners of great yarns capable of expanding even the most mundane encounter into a grand adventure. So much so that every one of the townsfolk seemed to have a tale of the time they encountered the enigmatic Doctor. Some have claimed that the Shoppe was filled with a whole array of cursed, spectral and strange items and tinctures . Others have claimed that the man had been a known pirate and profiteer, regaling that he was wanted all over the globe for the most unspeakable of crimes. Some would whisper that he was possessed of a most glorious treasure that still lay buried in the abandoned store. There were even stories that it was Doctor Ghostraven himself who had torn holes in the sky that night with some dark magic gone wrong -and was then torn apart himself for his evil transgressions.
All of this makes knowing the man that was Marcel Ghostraven nearly impossible -and in most circles -highly suspect. But try as you might to discredit the tales, the Celestial Heliograph remains. Hovering over Meiville with a gentle buzzing of electrical currents drawn from the atmosphere above and below. It’s symphony of color and light warning sky captains from all around of dangerous winds or fitful tides. It’s internal devices clicking and spinning, clicking and spinning, without loosing so much as a second. The Celestial Heliograph was by all counts the most perfect of time pieces and the most reliable of weather forecasters. Majestic and beautiful it had floated effortlessly over the world through the years until it’s maker and it’s purpose had been lost to time and tale-
That is -until two weeks ago.
Nym stared down at the glowing cog held with care between her long, gloved fingers. She turned it over and over again lost in thought. She inspected the small meticulously engraved insignia of a raven on the one side of it and the crude marking of the letter “L” scratched into the other. The marks were a clue, she could feel it, but so far her research had been fruitless. Every possible answer only fostered more questions. She closed her gloved hand around the cog tightly and strengthened her resolve.
Taking a careful step off of the trolley car into the rain drenched streets of Meiville, she opened her umbrella and began a fast pace to the library – only to find herself frozen and stunned with her heart racing as the Pull took hold. The whole of the world seemed locked in the clutches of some temporal vacuum and no matter how often she felt it, she could not escape the terror it created. Around her every face bore the same expression of fear and frustration. Every life form in Meiville was suddenly trapped in a living slow motion nightmare. Each day that had passed since the cog had fallen to the ground had seen stronger and more frequent Pull events. She tightened her grip on the glowing piece of fallen metal. She needed answers and she needed them soon.
She needed to find Ghostraven, and the clock was not ticking.