The British Empire is raging with Alchemical, steam-powered force, but a series of crimes, all involving Egyptian antiquites, is shaking its heart. Constable Galavant Knightley is working hard on the case: but with a wedding to organize, a grumpy Captain and mysterious Alchemical mayhem spreading in London, time is against him. The only choice? Calling Doctor Richard Kingson, recognized expert in...well lots of things.
It would be easier if said doctor has not tried to kill him on their first meeting. And it would be way easier if said doctor was not the most dangerous and whimsical Mad Scientist of the whole Empire.

-The characters and names are heavily inspired by ABC Galavant, but the plot is original work.-


1. Prologue

When Constable Galavant Knightley stepped down in Covent Garden and knocked on the Evil Scientist’s oak doors, he wondered if he had actually gotten the wrong house.

The butler -henchman, that is- was actually impressive, all shaved head and boxer-shoulders, but the villa peering behind him looked like one of the hundreds of upper-class country-aristocracy mansions scattered all around London. Galavant had inspected a good portion of those houses and lived in one of them for his first twenty years, so he knew what he was talking about. The hangings on the walls were tasteful unicorn-filled spring scenes; the heavy wood furniture smelled of wax and cigarettes. Kingson Manor could look like his uncle’s residence, an eccentric dandy’s, but not a Mad Scientist’s lair.

Until they reached the Laboratory.

The Doctor’s dungeon was a room carved deep under the house, and its high walls were literally invaded by  a maelstrom of squeaking, buzzing machines spreading around in pipes and steam outbursts. A glass dome poured Alchemical light on velvet armchairs, tables, suspended fossil bones. It could well remind the Inspector a sort of large ballroom with a somehow quirky furniture. Except for the monstrous, brass-clad half-built android slumped in the center of the room.

Galavant watched in wonder for several moments. He realized the fair-shining machineries he had firstly guessed as engines were actually the bent legs of the giant. On the metal platform spreading around its chest was a thin figure, bustling around and looking half-swollen by gears. For a moment the constable thought the faint sounds emerging from it were a cry for help. Then he understood it was a humming.

The butler-henchman stopped by the door.

-Doctor Kingson, a visit for you. Mister Galavant Knightley. From Scotland Yard.-

Doctor Richard Kingson, inventor, scholar, fifth Lord of Appleshire and recognized madman extricated himself from the core of circuits and stood to his full height. He was a gangly man, silver-haired, the shirt’s sleeves rolled up around elbows. A pair of shaded goggles gave him a remarkable resemblance with a big-eyed dragonfly. He was working bare-handed, and grabbed a towel tossed on the handrail as he swirled towards them.

-Constable Knightley!- The visible part of his face seemed rather excited. -Gareth, you should have told me we would have guests. I would have changed in something more convenient.-

-I’m not the damn maid, Doctor Kingson.-

-Ah!-  The doctor giggled, skipping down the platform stairs. -Sorry for my butler’s manners, sir. He’s Gareth.- He added, as it should explain everything.

-Err. Never mind, Doctor Kingson.-


Kingson smiled wider and extended an arm to shake hands. He had beautiful hands, noble-looking, but almost any inch of them was littered with burnt spots and acid-scratches.

-Now sir, may I tempt you with a good cup of tea? Nothing like repairing an Alchemical four-angled sigil can rise your fancy for butter biscuits. Could you bring in some butter biscuits, Gareth?-

-You wolfed down the last biscuits yesterday evening, sir.-

-And the tarts?-

-Same thing.-

Doctor Kingson let out a noise that sounded very alike a pup whining. Galavant discretely cleared his throat.

-Err, it’s a very kind offer, Doctor Kingson, but I’d rather not.  I’m here on police business.-

-Oh, I see I see. But please, call me Doctor. Can I call you Mister?-

-Mh, I’d rather not.-

The doctor giggled again and kept moving. Galavant saw now the goggles weren’t glasses, but one of them was reinforced with a complicated harass of multiple lens. One of them almost took out his right eye.

-Doctor Kingson, I, should really have a private talk with you. It is a matter of utmost importance, and the greatest urgency.-

-Oh, I see I see.-

-As you could imagine, it is about the spread of robberies that had lately hit the British Museum warehouse.-


-Ye-yes. The  Anubis’s Golden Mask, for example. The press talked about it for days.-

-Oh, yes, of course. Egyptology, not my field, sorry. At least for now. Then again, Hittite, that’s something I could help with.-

-Ah, I won’t fall to point it out with my superiors, sir. But considering your- “ infamous crackedness” sounded rather rude –famed competence I thought you could give us some directions.-

-Sure, sure.- He chirped.-Can you just hold it for a moment?-

The Doctor didn’t wait for an answer and took up a silver, can-shaped device, discharging it in the constable’s arms. A small screen blinked happily on one side.

-What. What is this?-

-A  Retrobalistic Paracelsian Meta-organic  Engine.- He answered smoothly. –My patent. Still on probation, actually. Four-foiled Tesla coating, core of Anima Mundi, original one, of course, no imitations. It would be able to animate the whole left-side lower section of a twenty-feet tall android, and with a minimal expense of energy.- A pause -If it doesn’t explode, of course.-

Galavant froze on the spot. -So, so this thing could explode?-

-Oh, it wouldn’t. I’m certain of it. Almost. Sort of.-

-Sort of?-

-Listen, don’t fret.- The doctor protested. -It’s a completely safe procedure, I’ve done it dozens of times. It would just take some care, no rough movements, and. Oh.-

As Doctor Kingson bent closer Gal’s hands shook a bit, and something clicked deep inside the equipment. The  Retrobalistic Paracelsian Meta-organic  Engine began to buzz like an angry cat against his fingers. The screen light pulsed wildly. The Doctor hissed.

Galavant cast a panicked glance to Gareth. Gareth shrugged.


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