The Cagliostro


Is there anything in the email about more information suddenly appearing? I do wonder what triggered this event to happen. Good job with transcribing the page. Maybe more will appear with time?

There is a new email!! And looks like robert got to it before I did!


Yes, Miss Ellesworth sent an email saying that the pages just suddenly ‘unfaded’. She thinks that perhaps because it’s been so cold the past few days and she had the heat cranked that perhaps some invisible ink was revealed. She’s going to try to find more information in the book.

So, here’s my thinking so far. We’re looking for an artist who painted in the 1910’s - 1920’s. Possibly who has art in Merseyside somewhere like a gallery. Could even be Helen Ashman (Helen Wilde’s maiden name) parent.

Edit: It looks like Helen Ashman’s parents were Benjamin and Mildred Ashman. I can’t find any evidence either was an artist so far.


AC refers to the “practitioner’s sketch.” I wonder if she was referring to the second updated page. Do you think that’s what it’s called?

Also, she said the sketch would help in their efforts. Efforts to what?


I swear I’ve seen something like that sketch before, but at this point over an hour of staring at webpages full of ancient symbols isn’t helping me.

As for what AC does. He/She seems to be all over the map performing ‘illusions’ but also helping patrons contact deceased (I’m assuming deceased) fathers and curing fertility problems. This Cagliostro might be a lot like the historical one and building a following of people who think he/she can perform miracles.


That symbol kinda-sorta looks like the Pagan symbol for winter.


I swear I’m done spamming this thread after this for a while. :slight_smile:

Looks like Miss Ellesworth got a very interesting email and asked AC what to do about it.

Marty Rank is the person who wrote the newspaper article about Brandon’s body being found, FYI. And we now have an email address for him!

Good afternoon,

The below email just arrived through the catch-all address for the site. Please let me know if you’d like me to respond.


-------- Original Message --------


2016-12-06 15:30



Afternoon, my name’s Marty Rank, I’m a reporter with the Times. I was working on a piece about local governmental corruption and found this email address and information on some of your clientele. I’m interested in speaking with you.

My angle in a perfect world would be how ill-gotten gains are spent on things like secret million-dollar-ticket magic shows, but I get you have a rep to protect. I’m flexible if you’re willing to talk with me. You’re not my target and neither are the names of your patrons. I want them to stop pushing on the paper to get at me and this is my shot across the bow.



Ugh I wish we could talk to him ourselves, buuut we don’t want anyone knowing that we are watching! Uggghhhh! Confliiiict!


Maybe we could contact Marty without much suspicion? After all, we do have that angle with the Brandon Lachmann piece. Obviously we couldn’t go in with questions about Cagliostro, but perhaps we could get some other information out of him.


Yeah! We could ask about the article about Brandon!


So. I looked through Wikipedia paintings from 1910-1925 and found nothing on what could be the painting we’re looking for, or the artist.
I did find two museums in Merseyside though, which is apparently a county in England that has the major city Liverpool in it. Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, and Lady Lever Art Gallery. Also couldn’t find anything on Lady Lever Art Gallery’s site.
Also, just a small recap on who we’re looking for (mostly for myself): An artist who was in a guild of craftsmen, who painted a work in late 1910s to early 1920s, and who had a daughter that was a famous writer


Hmm… What do you think of something like this?

Hello Mr. Rank,

Good evening, I was wondering if you might be the same Martin Rank who wrote a piece about thirty years ago on Brandon Lachmann? He was a young boy found in an abandoned subway station in New York. I found your information through the Times and was wondering if you knew any more about the case.

Thanks for your time.

I won’t send it if anyone has any objections, but I figure it’s a pretty benign email.


Just throwing an idea out there:

Vanessa Bell was an artist and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. She had a daughter, Angelica Garnett, who was a writer (amongst other things). Vanessa has one work of art in Merseyside, at the Tate Liverpool, called Still Life on Corner of a Mantelpiece.

I’m not sure if this really fits but I’ll keep looking. This website is good to see what works of art are in Merseyside - you can put a date in the search bar and it will give you works that are in Merseyside from around that time.


Absolutely! Perfecto! :smiley_cat:


Awesome, it’s sent! Hopefully we’ll get a reply. :open_mouth:


Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fingers crossed!


Morning recruits, @reesylou created a new Fragment Topic called The Unknown Illiomancer in Fragments. Splitting this one’s tricky because the fragment is so much a part of The Cagliostro and Lauren…

So for clarity’s sake, and for the sake of new recruits, let’s keep general Lauren/Cagliostro/Marty Rank chat here, and the search for the illlomancer here. Does that work for everyone? I am VERY open to opinions/options… I want the forum working for you as efficiently as possible.

Believe it or not, I have a life to live but I would much rather be here. That’s life out there, but this is home. :cry:


That works, we can move talks of the unnamed illiomancer to the other thread. Thanks Endri!


Today’s random tin foil hat theory that’s probably wrong.

I figured I’d test my theory on what that symbol on page 7 was. I poked an old friend of mine who knows a thing or three about pagan symbols and wiccans and showed it to her. The first words of her mouth were ‘that means winter’.

Given that one of the first page is an arcane symbol or protection circle of some sort, and the last page is this rune I wildly guess that those runes are some sort of protective spell on the book, preventing it from being read. The approach of the winter solsitice in 2 weeks (In the Northern Hemisphere anyway) is one possibility for the reason the pages are beginning to be revealed.

If I guess right (and let’s face it, you don’t want to bet that I am) the book will become more readable approaching the 21st. Whether it becomes less readable after the 21st or remains that way for all of winter I don’t know, but it’d behoove us to keep copies of everything we get our hands on in case it fades away.


Hey @Revenir, you get anything from Martin yet?


Holy cow, that’s brilliant. The idea that it becomes more readable the closer to the solstice is amazing. If you’re right, then we know we’ll have the full text by the 21st (or is it the 22nd this year–for some reason I think it changes every once in a blue moon). Great find and tell your Wiccan friend thanks for the help!