Butler's Intelligencers: Designation Shadow
This is alternative-universe Victorian London, but although many things are different about the city known very sensibly as The Big Smoke, there are also many things that have not changed.
Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, aged just 18. She married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, with whom she was madly in love. They had nine children together before his death in 1861. Since then, the Queen has been in mourning, and has little time for public events or many of the responsibilities of her position. So far, this is merely a history lesson, and most of what is historically known about Her Majesty Queen Victoria still holds true in the world of Butler’s Intelligencers.
Likewise, London is a bustling metropolis full of horrifically wealthy aristocrats with nothing better to do than wallow in their own riches, and bare-foot urchins scraping together pennies from begging or stealing just to get a little food inside their malnourished bodies. The world of Dickens and Doyle.
Not all is as it seems, however, for the cast of characters wandering the streets often have little in common with the world we know.
In June of 1878, there was a terrible explosion in London’s Docklands, devastating roughly one third of that area and killing a total of fifty people. The official word is that it was the work of a few mad dockworkers, protesting their low pay and the conditions they were forced to live in because of it. The newspapers were full of stories about the three men, and accounts of how they ranted and raved on their way to jail. Most of what they said appeared to be nonsense. One was said to be ‘foaming at the mouth, like a rabid dog that is fit only to be put down.’ They were found guilty of wanton destruction of property and of the murder of fifty people, and sentenced to execution. The men were hanged within the week and London breathed a sigh of relief.
However, things have not been quiet in the Big Smoke since then. A string of disappearances have left the police baffled. Strange noises, like the cries of unholy birds, echo through the night. Corpses seem to spring from nowhere, leaving the police to scratch their heads over cause of death, motive, and perpetrator.
It seems that the shadowy man known only as Butler needs to assemble a new team…