[We should all Listen to] The Magnus Archives


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By this stage, the logical conclusion to the season is being flagged, I think, although the exact details remain to be interesting.

I wonder how many connections to other things they know are being missed by the aura of forgetfulness that the weird seems to give off?

As for the PhD students, I assumed that these were acknowledging and shouting out comments made by listeners and giving IC reasons for the mistakes and saying "no, I'm not recording it again".

Law Orc

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I kind of get the feeling that the Institute is mostly some sort of fussy academically research into anthropology, history, and folklore of people's accounts of experiences they believe to be supernatural, and that most of it is... well, kind of boring.

And then there's the archive and artifact storage off in the basement with the freaky stuff.


Staff member
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Validated User
I kind of get the feeling that the Institute is mostly some sort of fussy academically research into anthropology, history, and folklore of people's accounts of experiences they believe to be supernatural, and that most of it is... well, kind of boring.

And then there's the archive and artifact storage off in the basement with the freaky stuff.
that's my impression. And they have some contracts with LEO and universities to provide research data and reports on certain things, so perhaps a report on the doctrine of a politically active and dangerous religious sect or the mythology which might be motivating a killer.


Yours Pedantically
Validated User
I kind of get the feeling that the Institute is mostly some sort of fussy academically research into anthropology, history, and folklore of people's accounts of experiences they believe to be supernatural, and that most of it is... well, kind of boring.

And then there's the archive and artifact storage off in the basement with the freaky stuff.
Even within the Archive, most of the stuff is bunk. But the stuff which refuses to record on any medium besides tapes, well...


Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Oh, I know--I just like the idea of undergrads going "well, I'm getting a major in econ to please my dad, but my minor is in Obscure Nightmare Gods from beyond the Veil of Sanity".

Case: 0090608
Statement: Jason North, regarding discovery of an alleged ritual site in Scotland
Date: August 6, 2009
Date of Event: August 2009
Recording: Jonathan Simms

Before we begin, Simms is grilling Martin and wants the information he’s getting on tape. Martin tells him two big delivery men (neeeigh!) delivered the package. They look “like you’d expect”. Apparently that’s how these two look--like you’d expect. Martin recommends destroying the table, and Elias apparently has told Simms the same thing. Simms though doesn’t want to destroy it--he wants to study this…

Jason is very very concerned about his son. He’s drunk. He’s lost everything. He blames himself. He’s looking for help, no matter what. He’s desperate because he doesn’t want his son to burn. Oh shit…

Jason worked for the forestry commision in Scotland--enjoying nature and hating people made it a great job for him. There are logging companies out there up north, and Jason’s job is to go out there and find what animals are around, and if those animals were protected or not. What it really means is that Jason ends up alone deep in the forest a lot. But he’s got Lucy and his four year old Ethan waiting for him. Well, Ethan now. Lucy…

Jason is used to seeing weird stuff out in the deep woods. Even a corpse one time. So when he saw the clearing, he wasn’t concerned. So even though he was sweating like mad and tasting acrid burning in his mouth, he ignored it.

The clearing was made of a ring of trees, deliberately planted over 50 years ago. In the middle was a stone seat or altar. Jason noted the wind was still, and no animals were around. He didn’t need to enter the clearing, but he was curious. As soon as he stepped inside, he knew he made a mistake. A burst of energy hits him, and he begins to sweat profuesly. Stripping his coat off (highly irregular for a Scottish February), he takes a swig from his canteen. However, the water is boiling. Screaming, he collapses in pain for at least half an hour, just willing the pain to stop. Eventually, he manages to get up and walk, first to the stone altar which is...boring. Just a rock really, but with scorch marks all around it.Then he went to the edges, seeing that there were animals scorched and burned at the ring--not decomposing, but their fur or feathers had all been burned clean off.

Then he noted the trees. In each tree was a heavy iron nail, and on each nail was an old milk bottle with clean new string. In some bottles there were dirt or pine needles, or boiling water, and in each were photos--Gertrude Robinson, and a bit of her burned hair tied to the bottom. Jason wanted to take some clear photos of what was going on, and he knows this was the mistake. He made one of the glass bottles slip and fall trying to take a better picture. As it shattered, he knew something terrible had happened. Terrified, he grabbed the picture and ran. After that moment, everything Jason knew or loved has burned.

His car overheated and he barely got back to the office before it’s engine blew up. His house was gone in less than a week. Whatever happened to Lucy, Jason won’t talk about it. He’s down to Ethan, and he’s terrified now. He just wants help. He wants his son to live. And he wants a drink.

Ethan is an alive 11 year old boy living with a foster family. There wasn’t any sign of supernatural events either, all the fires appeared natural. So maybe it was just alcoholism that made Jason apparently poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire, taking three days to die.

This one’s another tragedy, people just running into the nightmare and getting gobbled up by it. It doesn’t say it, but I’m pretty sure that Jason did that to himself before Ethan got devoured, which...shit, good man Jason.

There are some errors here--Jason says it happened to him in February, but the time of the event states August and it didn’t sound like it took that long for the curse to hit him.

Of course, I’ve always wondered about the ritual itself going on. We have more fire burney guys from the Lightless Flame, but the photos looked to be from 2002, and that means the spell had been going on for 6 or 7 years, not including planting the trees. I don’t think it was a hit on Gertrude, since this is rapidly getting to “I have a gun in my room” levels of over planning. So what was really going on? What were we trying to do?


Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Case: 0120606
Statement: Andre Ramao, regarding a series of misplaced objects over the course of three months
Recorded: June 6 2012
Event: March 2012
Recording: Jonathan Simms

Andre opens by thanking the interviewer for their pen, and wondering if the interviewer will remember that it was their pen to begin with. Did he ever have a pen?

He’s been in the antiques business for a long time. He remembers making a bad joke that made Michaele Silesa laugh, which is why he remembers the day he bought the vase from him.

Now, Silesa has a reputation, and not just because he was the dealer that Norega met with back in Piecemeal. No, he’s a smuggler and a thief, and a lot of his antiques can cause problems for anyone who buys them when the cops show up complaining how it doesn’t have the right paperwork or how it’s stolen. Jail time can occur. So Ramao wouldn’t regularly deal with Silesa, but the antique market is getting harder and more cut-throat.

His first meeting with Silesa was back in March. Silesa was showing Ramao through a warehouse of questionable goods (with a few boxes FILLED with books…). Ramao had already bought a few knick knacks, and noted a Ja-jing glazed pot from the Ming dynasty. Instead of pictures or scenes, the blue glaze was criss-crossing lines of amazing and intricate quality. No matter how close he looked, there were more lines, more designs...it hurt Ramao’s eyes. Silesa slapped him on the back and sold it to him.

Andre got home, and looked into finding buyers, but had to sleep due to the headache. It was soon thereafter that he noted the strangeness. First, his shoes--Andre, being a simple man, had three pairs of shoes. When he went to find his nice pair of shoes, they were gone, and in their place a bag filled with shirts he had thrown out. Andre’s husband doesn’t remember the nice shoes, either…it was trivial, but Andre felt something was wrong.

A week later, he got the invoice from Silesa and sees that the cost was much lower than he expected because Silesa hadn’t charged him for the Ming vase. After some “do I want to cheat this black marketeer?”, he calls Silesa and tells him about the mistake. Silesa didn’t remember the Ming, even after Ramao described the vase to him. Silesa warrily asks him to send a photo of the pot. After a long quiet time, Silesa says “you can keep it. No charge. I do not remember having that thing, which means it belongs to you”.

Next, Andre lost his signed copy of Catch 22 (Not the signed copy of rare books! You bastards!! NNNNOOOOO!!), his husband saying he had never seen it and thinking Andre was going crazy. This went on for months. Ties, teapots...things just disappeared, including a tunic he had bought from Silesa. This time he called again, but Silesa didn’t remember it--and the invoice no longer had it written down. Just a space where it had been.

Weirder still, he couldn’t sell that pot. Some crucial step was always forgotten, and the one time he did get it in the mail it was returned to him, the “buyer” asking why he had shipped it to her. Eventually, he begins to get suspicious of it...he started watching it, getting less sleep.

A month ago, staring at the vase while it sat in the middle of the table, he fell asleep in front of it. He woke about 2am, and he heard a sound--the thump of a book hitting the table. There was Catch-22! And shoes, ties...everything he had lost poured out of the vase, quietly thumping in front of it. Oh good! We must be done!

But then pale fingers began to creep out. The nails were too dirty. Andre yelled and ran, didn’t return home until the next morning. When he got back, David was gone--no, gone. The housing association thought Andre had always been alone.

He wants to destroy the vase, but now...it’s gone, too. It’s still taking things from him. Including his pen.

Simms says Tim found a copy of Mr. Romero’s marriage license--but only Andre signed it apparently. He married nobody.

Silesa is a known figure to the institute, having a knack for locating disconcerting treasures.

Oh...wait a second. There’s a spider. Simms grabs a book and smashes it, accidentally knocking a bookcase over. Sasha comes in to see what’s the racket, and they realize it’s busted a hole through the wall. As Simms looks into the hole, he stops...and then screams for Sasha to run! We hear the sound of too much squirming, and then the tape recorder stops.

Good for Simms to not waste tape like that, isn’t it?

The story itself isn’t bad, but it leans more into “spooky” than “horrifying”. It feels like a Twilight Zone episode more than some of the others. I do wonder what happened to the thing sneaking out of the vase, even though I have a pretty good idea of where david is now…

Really, the important thing is that we’re setting up for the big two-part finale of Season 1!


Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
Wasn't Silesa involved in the jigsaw story?
He was--he was the smuggler.

And now the moment we've all been waiting for--the Season finale!
Case: 0160729-A and -B
Statement: Live recordings of the Magnus Archive, regarding the infestation of said location by the entity formerly known as Jane Prentiss
Recording/Date of Event: July 29, 2016
Recorded by: jonathan Simms, Martin Blackwood, Sasha James, Tim Stoker, Elias Bouchard
Spoiler: Show
and Not-Sasha

When we last left our intrepid players, they were being invaded by an infinite number of silver and black worms from an infinite hell of Bugs and Corruption. Simms spends his first action grabbing the tape recorder, yelling at Martin and Sasha to spray down the worm-storm with the fire extinguishers. They almost die *chunk* and then cut to Simms screaming madly as Martin uses a corkscrew to remove a worm from him. Apparently these worms are corkscrew sized. So...even worse. Simms, Martin and Sasha are now hiding in the secure room that Martin’s been living in. Good news--they’re safe. Bad news--they’re trapped.

Sasha asks a good question--why did Simms dive for the tape recorder? He almost died for an old tape recorder? (good question--Why risk his life, why record this?? Simm’s actually has a good answer--he refuses to become “another god-damned mystery”. He admits that yes, there is something supernatural and evil going on. There are real statements “with weird...wrinkles” that don’t record digitally, and they are all aiming at something. He doesn’t want to become Gertrude--another missing probably dead person without any sign of what happened. Whoever takes over for him will KNOW. They all note that “only an idiot would take this job” as well.

We also find out Tim is out for lunch, and the worms are waiting for Tim! For lunch! In a bad way! The trio try to scream for poor Tim to run, but damn this secure building the windows are sound-proofed as well! Sasha runs out the door to help, kicking the tape recorder and--

*click* test test...Tim is trying to figure out why there’s a tape recorder in the middle of the hallway, and does a pretty good “statement of Joe Spooky regarding sinister happenings!”, when Sasha points out Jane Prentis and her children coming right at him! The walking bug hive gets a “do...you...hear...their...song?” out before the two run as you do when a woman made of nothing but holes of eternal worms is coming at you. They get somewhere else--

*click* Martin and Simms still trapped. Simms can’t stand up, so Martin has to describe. The two of them got out of the archives. Apparently the two got out worm-free, so...good. Bad news--Tim ran into the office, where Simms made the hole that the worms came out of, so Martin is pretty sure Tim is dead now. Poor Tim. but maybe he found Martin’s HIDDEN Fire Extinguishers! The ones he hid in old case boxes so the worms didn’t find out about them!! Simms is still trying to say this is just a normal worm-army invasion, but Martin calls him on it. Why are you such an ass, John? Simms states that he’s always believed in this stuff, and these 40 on tape are real. He pushed the assholeness because...he’s scared. When he records these wrinkly ones, he feels...watched. So he pushes the skepticism to protect himself. But that didn’t protect him at all…

Martin sees Prentice is now vomiting into the boxes of files. Simms also asks Martin why he hasn’t, you know--quit. Why is Martin here? Because...he is. It doesn’t feel right to leave. He feels...trapped here. Like he can’t move on. Simms does verify that Martin is, in fact, not a ghost.

*click* Elias Buchard is now giving a supplementary record with Sasha, alarms blaring in the background. Elias realizes that he’s probably underestimated the worm threat, since, you know--evil worms? Really? The fire alarm was pulled by Sasha to get everyone out--good move Sasha. We also find out Elias has upgraded the fire alarms to CO2, but since there’s not a fire it hasn’t gone off. They can activate it, but doing so will kill Martin and Simms. Elias doesn’t want to replace his archivist so soon, but...it might be a mercy.

*click* martin and Simms. Something is banging on the wall. They can’t escape. The door is covered in worms. The wall breaks--Tim?!? Funny story, i’ll let Tim bring you up to speed. “Funny story, really. I ran into the office--worms everywhere horrible death and everything, tirpped and fell into boxes--there were like 20 cans of gas in there!” hes’ a bit light-headed due to CO2 in the tunnels, but hey, the tunnels are now mostly worm-free! The men hope up and get into the tunnels…

*click* Sasha has ended up in the Artifact Storage, aka “the place even Simms seems a bit disturbed by’. She and Elias were heading to the controls for the fire system when “a wave of worms” attacked, and fled in here. This creepy warehouse filled with evil calliopes, strange tables, Lamarchand configurations, and god knows what else. Sasha hates it here. She used to be a practical researcher here, but transferred after three months. Why are they hiding all this she wonders? Why not show the world? Elias told her it wasn’t their mission statement...at least there’s no worms here. Sasha finds Simm’s table, and then--someone’s here. “Hello? I see you?” There’s a whine and the supernatural distortion, and Sasha screams, and then…

Hello? I see you. Hello? I see you.”.
It’s Not-Sasha.

Simms and co are stuck in the tunnels, and Martin got lost after an aggressive worm attack. It’s just Simms and Tim. Good news, Timm has found a trap door. Hopefully it won’t lead up to Jane Prentice in the Archives.

Simms opens the door. It’s the Archives. Jane Prentice is there. “Archivist...”

Simms is trying to get his statements. Elias is recommending he get some fresh air and time off, but Simms needs to record this. But Elias tells him that jane Prentice is dead, her body burned. Elias begins, informing John that he first noticed something weird when the fire alarm went off and Sasha told her what was going on. Apparently Sasha had a problem with her tape recorder so all those recordings are gone, so now Elias has to go through all this again. Elias didn’t fully appreciate the Lovecraftian nightmare the archives was dealing with, and fled from a tidal wave of filth. From there, he reached the boiler room, got to the fire extinguishers, and activated them. Then there were the screams…”tens of thousands of things without mouths screaming as one.” Then he contacted everyone who had been involved with the Prentis investigation previously. Sasha found Tim and Simms, their bodies already covered in burrowing worms, but the two were alive. A few hours later though, martin shows up, bursting out of the same trap door, and announcing he’s found the body of Gertrude Robinson in the tunnels.

After some prodding, Elias states that on the 15th of March 2016, he went to find Gertrude at her office, finding her desk covered in over a gallon of her DNA-verified blood instead (why yes, they did have Gertrude’s DNA on file!). She had no assistants, and it was fairly obvious something bad happened to her, so Elias looked to hire replacements.

*click* Tim would like to go home. Quarantine was not fun, but at least tim learned to not make “I feel itchy” jokes to doctors mid-quarantine procedure. He talks about how he saw Jane Prentice, her body filled with holes. His story is...pretty well covered by the last episode. He ran in the office, panicked, grabbed the CO2 and went “full rambo” to kill the worms, ran into the tunnels. Tim does say that the worms were slower in the Institute, that something made them slow and weaker, and that Simms accidentally stopped their plans by finding them before they were ready.

In the tunnels, the sloping, weird tunnels, Tim found a wall that seemed different, and heard Simms and martin on the other side. He wasn’t there when martin found the body, but he might have seen...maybe...he was probably gassed, but Tim found a room where the worms were wrapping around themselves, trying to form a ring or something. Trying to make a door. Good for us, Tim gave two full extinguishers to the Wormgate.

*click* Sasha’s turn. Well, I guess it’s not Sasha, but it’s Not-Sasha. Her voice is different, her tempo is different. Not-Sasha runs through things in a very straight-forward manner, like she wasn’t actually there but reading a script. She says she escaped through a window, and heard Prentice's screams from outside the body. When she came in, she found Simms and Tim, being eaten. She dragged them out to fresher air. Elias apparently was looking at her oddly, but said nothing. Then Martin popped out yelling about the body. She also says the tape recorder must have ejected the tape. Simms does note that she seems odd, but she says it’s just being tired…

*click* Simm’s pain killers are running out, and martin wants to go home. So Simms is pushing Martin because he’s a dick, and Martin is sorry that he fled from the others. He feels bad about it, but the worms showed up and everything went bad and Martin fled and he thought the others were behind him…

Soon he was alone in quiet, cold, dark tunnels. He wandered in the maze of buildings, like the Millbank prison. He even found stairs going down, and was getting lost--he wanted to find his way back, when he heard Prentice’s scream. He soon found shriveld dead worms. He was still lost, wandering, until he found a door. It was a small room, dusty, with cardboard boxes filled with cassette tapes. Gertrude was in a chair in the middle of the room, slumped forward, mouth open. She had been shot three times in the chest.

*click* Simms now knows that Gertrude robinson was murdered. Not by ghosts or evil caves. Just someone with bullets. Someone who was in the Archive. Someone around him right now being a murderer. Simms knows something is in these files, and whatever it was Gertrude Robinson found it. That was why she dided. Tapes are missing now. 0051701 (Strange Music) and 0160204 (Michael’s appearance) are now gone. Someone is trying to stop Simms, but Simms isn’t going to stop.

So that’s Season 1. I would recommend listening to the Q&A if you get a chance.


Man of Action!
Validated User
I've just finished season 1, largely on the basis of this thread. It's really handy to have someone pointing out all the things I should be paying attention to, as I'm sure I'd otherwise just skip over them and lose some of the fun of listening.


Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
Validated User
I've just finished season 1, largely on the basis of this thread. It's really handy to have someone pointing out all the things I should be paying attention to, as I'm sure I'd otherwise just skip over them and lose some of the fun of listening.
Trust me, writing these down has helped me IMMENSELY get some things I missed (seriously, there are two or three in season 1 that I apparently just zoned out for....)

Sorry for the wait, but I've been insanely busy this week. But we're back!

So we open into Season 2. A new Google doc since the last one was over a hundred pages, new situations, new awakenings, new terrible ways to die. We know there is something obviously evil going on. We know there are multiple terrible monster-gods out there, even if we don’t know most of their names. We know one woman once named Jane Prentice became a horrible flesh hive/portal to a terrible corruption worm dimension. We know that the last archivist is officially dead, and we know she was murdered not by some night gaunt or nasty, but by simple lead bullets. Which means a human.

There is a murderer in the Magnus Institute, and Simms doesn’t know who to trust.

Case: 0160902
Statement of: Jonathan Simms, regarding exploration of the tunnels recently discovered under the Archive.
Recording: September 2, 2016
Event: October to September 2016
Recorded by: Jonathan Simms

Simms sounds tired. Hes been going into the tunnels beneath his work. He also has a small jar of what should be Jane Prentice’s ashes, but...he doesn’t quite believe it. It does help though--placebos are good. There are no worms, the walls repaired, Martin has gone home, but the damage is done. Simms is scarred, both physically and mentally. He’s paranoid--why does he feel like he’s being watched? Is Martin caring about his health by trying to push him to go home, or is there something more wicked behind his caring demeanor? He’s being watched. He can feel it, even when he records the statements…

But no--back to the tunnels. For a few weeks he’s been sneaking in before he came back to work, exploring the tunnels at night in the quiet, spooky corridors. He found the trap door, opening it and entering the deep black hole into the earth, into the sudden absence of sound.

The tunnels are excellent for getting lost in. The passages were all varied in height and construction--some brick, some stone, some earth, but all gray. It wasn’t a maze, but more like an organic, grown system that had been twisted. There were rooms without doors, doors without rooms.

The police took Gertrude, the chair, all the tapes for evidence. Simms would dearly like to hear those tapes, maybe find some clue to what Gertrude was doing and who killed her. But no, simms was stuck wandering in the tunnels until he found the corpses of the worms. He walked for over an hour until he started to fear his flashlight would run out of power, like the light was weaker now. Not to mention Simms was still pretty much lost, so he tried to return back, but finding his way back was difficult.

On his way back, he found the worm circle. Worms, digging a circle into the wall, a ten foot ring. Inside the circle, the stone had become...wrong. Wavy, like melted adn rehardened chocolate. Simms touched it and felt the stone as...porous.

An hour later (that’s more than 3 hours down here), he finds his way back to the trap door. He’s drained by the experience, and heads home. A week later, he tries again--3 flashlights, food, water, batteries, and chalk for marking walls, a CO2 emitter, and a big knife. Because he’s British.

He started marking the way with the chalk to get home, beyond where the womrs had even gone, into where the Milbank Prison had once been. A prison built to test Benthm’s theory of panopticon, started in 1799 but going through several architects, finishing with our friend, Robert Smirke. He finished it in 1821, making changes to the penetentary as an eccentirc maze with narrow passages adn little light. It was a brutal place, stuck in the marshlands. By 1890 it was demolished. Which means these tunnels weren’t the prison but something built below it. Which means the staircase going down was even weird for poor Simms. He decides to ignore that staircase and continue on to clear the first floor, because he’s decent at dungeon crawling.

While taking a break, he finds another staircase...with a chalk mark pointing down. Not his chalk, though--someone else had been down here. Then he hears noise...footsteps? Simms, more out of stubbornness than courage, decides to descend the stairs spiraling down...for at least four levels. Then he thought he saw movement, but found--nothing. Only an empty wine bottle from 2003. The passages were getting odd now as well. As he was drawing a chalk arrow, he suddenly realizes the passage has changed. It was getting narrower, even though he could see no movement. Then, he hears a single word. “Leave”.

Not a threat. A command. But it worked. Simms somehow made it back to the stairs before he got pinned in the disappearing walls. He didn’t come back since then. Who was down there? Why point him down only to make him run back up? It doesn’t matter. The only thing that Simms is focused on is finding out the secrets of these Tunnels, adn what’s down there...

Simms doesn’t give a shit about the tunnels! His main focus is on who killed Gertrude Robinson. Who killed her? The good money’s on Elias, but it could have been anyone. Simmms is using one tape recorder to record this information, the other to put them off the trail and believe Simms is focused on the tunnels. Simms doesn’t trust anybody.

On one hand, Simm’s account is...missing something. It feels fake. On the other hand, that’s not actually surprising. It’s not the tunnel’s he’s focused on--so in many ways, it IS a fake recording. So it makes sense this not a great spooky but instead a “welcome back, this is the setup for this season”. It's kind of funny how this whole recording is "there's a weird maze that doesn't follow the rules of space, and there are WormGates, but ignore all that we're hunting a murderer!"

It also shows us that Simms is now focused on one thing--finding out who is the murderer, breaking his own rules and not trusting anybody. So...not a great place to be, mentally. It's a season 2 opener--it's going to get you grounded again. Even though already Simms doesn't sound...grounded. The shift from "tired" to "paranoid and manic" works really well in the Supplemental, but you can already see this is not a healthy mindspace.
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