The Dark Chalice, Part 1: The Ghost in Glastonbury
| The Dark Chalice, Part 1:|
The Ghost in Glastonbury
|Produced for:||Fantomen 4/2018|
|# of pgs:||22|
|Producer:||Egmont Publishing AB|
Minerva Brooks is working at the ethnographic museum in Morristown when she is approached by a representative of businessman Grigori Putsharin who offers her a place on an excavation of King Arthur's tomb in Glastonbury. At first Minerva is unconvinced, but the representative tells her that Putsharin is prepared to make a considerable donation to the museum if she agrees. Swayed, Minerva agrees to go.
Not long after Minerva arrives at the excavation site, the Phantom, who is sleeping in the Skull Cave, has vivid dream of Minerva being sacrificed during a Satanic ritual. He awakes shaken, but just at the moment Guran enters the room, asking his friend to come to the Major Treasure Room. Once there, they find that the sword Excalibur is glowing. A few seconds later there is a brilliant flash of light and the sword goes back to normal. Convinced there is a connection between this and his dream, The Phantom heads to Glastonbury.
Back in Glastonbury, Minerva has a brief meeting with Putsharin who says he has reasons for choosing her for the excavation. Later, Putsharin visits a local bank in Glastonbury and it is revealed that he knows about the Satanic rituals that have been taking place in the secret maze under Glastonbury cathedral. He threatens to let the press know that the bank manager is involved with the rituals unless he helps Putsharin find the Dark Chalice, the evil opposite to the Holy Grail. Not given much choice, the manager agrees.
That night, Minerva is staking out the ruins of the cathedral where she previously thought she saw the ghost of a monk entering the ruin. Again, the monk appears but vanishes soon after. Intrigued, Minerva enters the cathedral and finds a secret door left open. As she enters, the door closes behind her, effectively trapping her in an unknown part of the cathedral. However, as she continued she realises she has stumbled into the secret maze.
The next day the Phantom arrives at the excavation site, just as Putsharin turns up saying he has heard about Minerva's disappearance. The Phantom decides to investigate the cathedral at night, taking Excalibur with him. He discovers the hidden entry to the maze as well as the location of the Satanic ritual. Just as in his dream, the Satanists are ready to sacrifice Minerva.
Focused on the ritual, the Phantom does not notice a small group of Satanists sneaking up behind him. Devil has noticed, and leaps to attack. However, one of the Satanists shoots the wolf with a taser, knocking him unconscious. Another is able to get behind the Phantom and he, too, is knocked out.
When he awakes the Phantom finds himself shackled upside down to the wall of the maze's ritual chamber. Putsharin reveals that he has been aiding the Satanists and that he is, in reality, the seemingly immortal Rasputin. He tells the Phantom that he is behind everything, Minerva's employment and the Phantom's dream and desire to come to Glastonbury with Excalibur. With his speech finished, Rasputin turns back to the ritual and the Phantom can do nothing but watch helplessly as it reaches its climax; the sacrifice of Minerva.
- Mr Sanderson of Putsarin Developments
- Liza, archaelogist
- Vladimir, Putsarin's driver
- Mr Sandhurst, bank manager
- King Arthur (mentioned only)
- Glastonbury Abbey
- Glastonbury Tor
- Chalice Well
This story has been published in the following publications:
- "The Dark Chalice, Part 1: The Ghost in Glastonbury", The Phantom #1833 (2019)
- "Mørkets beger, del 1: Gjenferdet i Glastonbury", Fantomet 3/2018
- "Mörkrets bägare, del 1: Spöket i Glastonbury", Fantomen 4/2018