The dark towers of London loom over the river, smoke stacks churning and the city breathing out a thick, deadly miasma. The sheen on the water is barely disturbed by the barge as the paddles work quietly, oiled so that this journey can take place at night without the watchmen suspecting. Even in the darkness, as the city sleeps, the heart keeps pumping, the people of the city still its lifeblood as they sluggishly walk along the banks. Islands of light in the darkness which splutter and sway with their every step. From the movements you can tell that some of them turn to look at the river as you pass thinking that they might have seen something living in the water. No danger of that in these waters, they turn back to their business, unable to enter a different world from their own, unable to see the nature of the darkness that surrounds you.
The dock is padded but should make a dull thud as the barge hits. The water here makes no sound however and the lack of any noise is striking. The only thing you can hear is the sound of your heart, the rushing of blood in your ears, the flow of Od burning under your skin. There is a single figure with a candle waiting for you at the foot of the stairs, a masked man in a waistcoat whose face betrays no expression. Sound returns with the click of your shoes on the steps once you have made your way up a fair distance. Your senses tell you that you are walking alone in the darkness. It takes a distinct effort to remember that there is light around you, a person you are with.
The chambers of Clocktower are silent around you, most students have been removed for the summit. Here and there are traces of interference, wards placed to attack the visitors, spells hidden on pebbles to listen in. All of them scorched and destroyed easily by the Barthomeloi, they would not be willing to brook any problems now of all times. This is a great accomplishment of theirs and their reputation is at stake. The antechamber you are led into is arrayed with some materials to prepare, clean clothes, some materials for writing if you need it and, of course, the Geas for entry. You are not one to delay a necessary act and the Mana of the room is quickly drained to fuel the ritual.
"Gold and iron to the origin, Blood and the archduke of contracts to the cornerstone.
The fuel flows in darkness, the bones grind and create a new world.
Sacrifices gather and the crown is divided. The kingdom is sealed, none may enter the fastness of my oaths.
The art of my ancestors curses those I love.
I forbid, I bind, I destroy, I create.
In accordance with the will of Clocktower, I submit my will to the Root."
With the chant complete your Crest burns for an instant then falls quiet. Pain subsides and magic vanishes from your nerves. The discs of bone smoulder as the imprint of your oath settles onto them, the cards glisten with potential. The bell above begins to chime midnight and you snatch them up, hurrying to the room of the summit. There is little time in Clocktower and the clock never turns back.