Episode One - Part OneOphelia brings Sorev Gerenovich to the Department of Portents. Sorev was the previous Seer to the King and has returned from a self-imposed exile to prevent an evil organisation misappropriating the events of the Cherenkov Prophecy to their own ends. He has charted the evil doers course of action in a treatise and has determined how to thwart their scheme. Egged on by Phoebe, who is eager to be seen to be doing by her watchers, and against Konrad’s better judgement, the Department follows Sorev’s lead. Meanwhile Kurdt, has been summoned by his uncle Gustav and warned to keep an eye on Sorev who fled the realm before he could be convicted of sedition. The Chancellor wishes to learn why Sorev has returned before moving against him.
Sorev’s first mission is to investigate the activities of Lovac Gerodko. Lovac is a pupil of Kurdt’s old fencing teacher, Leopold, and the team descend upon the fencing school. Kurdt enters a fencing bout with Lovac while Phoebe slips into the dressing rooms to inspect his belongings and Konrad stands lookout. In Lovac’s locker Phoebe discovers an earlier copy of Sorev’s treatise with annotations and a list of times and locations. Kurdt outclasses Lovac on the piste and obliges him to meet later in the school courtyard.
Elsewhere, the unnamed Aristocratic Cultist is receiving orders to assemble the men and make sure they are well armed.
One of the rendezvous on Lovac’s list is about to take place at a bookshop in the marketplace. There is no time to confer with her colleagues so Phoebe races off to investigate on her own. Shortly after she is directed to the Prophecy section by the storekeeper, Mischka arrives and goes straight to the storeroom. Phoebe slips out of the shop to watch the backdoor when a contingent of the town guard arrive. Their captain enters the storeroom and a loud argument erupts. The waiting guards make it impossible for Phoebe to loiter and overhear the dispute so she moves off.
Konrad and Sorev are returning to the Department when they cross the path of the Chancellor, Sorev hides behind a tapestry. Gustav intimidates Konrad by threatening to bring him before the court to report on
The Red Lightning Book. Konrad contends Gustav should not take any precipitous action while Sorev is at large and the Chancellor withdraws.
At the fencing school Kurdt meets with Lovac and hears how Lovac’s father, the Earl of Popov Valley, was instrumental in discrediting Sorev at court five years ago. Konrad discovers Sorev has vanished from behind the tapestry. Lovac admits House Gerodko is manoeuvring to benefit from the turmoil the Cherenchov Prophecy will stir up, and so is every other noble family including House von Stahk. Phoebe is stopped behind the bookshop by two town guards bearing the emblem of House von Stahk.
To be continued...
This may not sound like the snappiest line from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but it evidently caught the imagination of John Landis, who has worked references to a mythical film of this name into most of his own movies - memorably as the grotty British skinflick watched by an assortment of lycanthropes and zombies in the climax of An American Werewolf in Paris [sic] (1981).
Ghastly Beyond Belief, Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman