In the absence of Sheraton Howell (who is currently 'places unknown'), I, Dr James Whittle, coroner and advisor to one of Europe's finest Consulting Detectives (his great London rival notwithstanding), shall be recording the many strange occurrences that appear to be besieging our city at present.
Unlike the many other cases of Consulting Detective Sheraton Howell and his friend of many years, your humble correspondent, a recent case is not one that I would willingly share, except with those who have also seen what should not be seen. It would never be believed and would no doubt lead to an enforced period of recuperation at one of the hospitals for those of a broken mind that appear so common these days. In fact I do wonder how many souls residing in such places have seen what we have seen?
We now know a great deal more regarding this most ungodly business than we did a scant few months ago, in no small part due to our meeting with Professor Van Helsing, a great authority on this dark world that we, until recently, were blissfully unaware of. Much of the content of this essay owes a debt of thanks to the professor, illuminating our own bewildering journey with his knowledge gained through personal, bitter experience. Should these notes be read, please have an open mind as you review this narrative. It is not the delusions of a mind addled by the poppy but the words of those who have experienced these, these creatures, these things that make one question everything. To understand these words may be the difference between awakening to the dawn in the safety of one’s own home, or awakening to the sunset in a bed of unholy earth. Or simply not awakening at all.