Lord Blackwood and the Thaumaturge
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Interview Log 1867-23

Interviewer: Dr. Adam Bernstein

Interviewed: SCP-1867

Forward: During a standard checkup interview with SCP-1867 the subject, at the request of Dr. Bernstein, was asked to elaborate on the nature of one of the items found in his collection- an ornate brass baton. The baton, while showing no overt anomalous properties, caught Dr. Bernstein's attention due to amount of dried blood still covering it. SCP-1867 complied enthusiastically.

Begin Log

Dr. Bernstein:: Good afternoon, SCP-1867.

SCP-1867: Please, good Doctor, call me Theodore.

Dr. Bernstein: Very well. Theodore, I would like to ask you a few question about this [shows picture of the baton].

SCP-1867: Oh, Yuri Dreshnik's command baton! Haven't seen it in years. Interesting story behind that one.

Dr. Bernstein: Would you care to elaborate?

SCP-1867: Certainly. I do enjoy telling a good story, and this one is so very full of excitement!

Dr. Bernstein: Please, continue.

SCP-1867: Well, it was the year 1855, and the Russian war1 was raging across the Black Sea. The Czar was trying to take control of the Bosphorus straits from the Ottomans, using some daft argument some priests had in the Holy Land as an excuse. Our brave lads, along with the Froggies, were giving the Russians a right thrashing, despite a few minor setbacks like that unfortunate business with the Earl of Cardigan's light brigade. Brave man, terrible tactical sense. I remember having a heated discussion with him about Scipio Africanus' vertical spear formation-

Dr. Bernstein: Focus on the baton, please.

SCP-1867: Oh, right. It was, I believe, late July. I was visiting an acquaintance of mine in London, and we were just discussing the preparations necessary for an expedition he was planning to the East Indies when a knock was heard on the door, and the manservant proclaimed it was a messenger from Lord Palmerston himself, who wished to speak to me at once. I made my way to Downing Street 10 post haste. The Prime Minister was waiting for me at his office. "Theodore," he said to me, "The Empire once again requires your services. The war in the Black Sea is turning in our favor, but we need to stick one final nail in Alexander's coffin if we want the Russians out of the straits permanently." He pulled out a map and pointed at a spot "Sevastopol. We've been besieging the thrice damned place for almost a year now. If we manage to take it from the Russians, it's only a matter of time until they surrender and accept our conditions."

Dr. Bernstein: Does this have anything to do with the baton?

SCP-1867: I'm getting to it, I assure you. As I was saying, the Prime Minister confided in me that he was planning a joint attack with the French on Sevastopol in late August or early September, but there was a problem; The Russians were rumored to have recruited a thaumaturge of great skill, Yuri Dreshnik, and he dared not order the attack as long as Yuri was there to muck things up with his magic. He wanted me to get rid of him.

Dr. Bernstein: Why did the Prime Minister need you to get rid of this wizard?

SCP-1867: Thaumaturge, Doctor, they are not the same as wizards. He needed me because I had experience: I led the great Warlock Hunt of Austria in 1833,2 and had numerous encounters with various shamans and witch doctors throughout my travels. I was quite the authority figure in the field, if I may say so myself.

Dr. Bernstein: Carry on.

SCP-1867: The Prime Minister needed Dreshnik gone before the attack, and he knew I was the right man for the job. As a patriot, I could not refuse, and I was scheduled to board HMS Gallant leaving for Istanbul on the following day. The journey was uneventful, save for a minor pirate raid near the shores of Libya which was easily repelled. I arrived at Istanbul safely, then boarded another smaller vessel for the remainder of the trip. I arrived at General Mac-Mahon's command ship on the last day of August. Patrice de Mac-Mahon was a solid gentleman if there ever was one, even if he was French. Always good for a laugh and a quick shot of brandy. I first met him in Algeria when he commanded the Foreign Legion in the 1840's. The man could smoke a hookah like no other, and that's a promise. I remember sitting with him and the sheikh of-

Dr. Bernstein: [sighs] Focus please, SCP-1867.

SCP-1867: Theodore. Right, the thaumaturge. Mac-Mahon told me he received credible information that Dreshnik was hiding in the Malakoff itself, this massive stone tower overlooking the port, preparing some sort of foul ritual, as thaumaturges are bound to do. I was to assemble a team from the very finest the allied armies had to offer, and make a raid on the tower at night, disposing of Dreshnik before he could raise some nastiness to hamper the war effort.

Dr. Bernstein: And how did the raid go?

SCP-1867: Oh, quite splendidly! Well, mostly so. There was the small matter of our boat sinking halfway to the port. And our sniper tripping on some slick stones and breaking his ankle. And half the team getting discovered and riddled with bullets. But other than that, everything went perfectly. We finally cornered Dreshnik in his ritual chamber after a long chase, as the man was was surprisingly fast for a portly middle aged gentleman in long robes, but he would not go down without a fight. He pulled out some strange apparatus he was hiding in his sleeve and pointed it at Sargent Monroe. Poor man never stood a chance.

Dr. Bernstein: What did the device do to Sargent Monroe?

SCP-1867: Turned his skin inside out. The screams were quite terrible, not to mention the smell. He managed to do the same to Corporeal Turner before I shot the device out of his hands. Along with a few fingers. He wasn't done, though. Screaming like an Indonesian Howler Sloth,3 he sprayed the blood from his severed fingers on the corpses of my fallen comrades. The two inside-out bodies jerked and came to life, attacking what little reminded of my crew. They ripped Durand and Roux apart with superhuman strength before I took them down with my trusty machete. Now it was just me and Dreshnik, and he was all out of tricks. His Grand Ritual was left unfinished as I brained him with his own command baton. The battle took place a week later, and we gave those Russian bastards a beating they wouldn't soon forget. That's how the baton came to my possession.

Dr. Bernstein: So the baton is just an ordinary command baton? No thaumaturgic power to it?

SCP-1867: Of course not, I burned down his ritual chamber along with all his tools before making my escape and swimming back to safety. You'd have to be quite daft to keep a thaumaturge's belongings. They always curse the things. I lost a cousin to a curse like that- he was turned into an eel. Could you imagine that, being an eel? Dreadful.

Dr. Bernstein: I would think so.

End Log

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