The Aldergate Papers is a cheery little podcast of mystery, murder, and madness.
Welcome to Aldergate University, a shadowy world of obsessive geniuses, masked strangers, hidden dangers, public nudity, and conspiracies that stretch across the centuries and around the globe.
Aldergate's ancient walls hide many secrets, and Adrian Ward - a fugitive billionaire with a dodgy brain and a troubled past - would like to hide as well. When an old pal's severed legs are found practically on his doorstep, however, it's clear his troubles may just be getting started...
- Introduction and Day 1, Part 1 - Aldergate Revisited
- After fifteen years away, Adrian Ward returns to ancient Aldergate University. When he left he was fearless and penniless; now he is one of the wealthiest persons ever to have lived, and he is scared of his own shadow. Well ... not his shadow. He's mostly afraid of the cabal of powerful friends he's left behind - and the ghosties and ghoulies that haunt his old new home. Listen now.
- Day 1, Part 2 - The Return of the Prodigal
- All alone, in the darkness of a medieval fortress during a power outage, Adrian Ward hasn't had quite the triumphal return he might have hoped for. At least Aldergate hasn't changed - from the silent masked figures on the Pentangle to the oh-so-discreet murder investigation, the University seems about as exceptional and eccentric as when he left it. There are even a few old friends about. And a few old enemies. And perhaps a skeleton or two, tucked away at the back of a closet he never thought he'd open again. Listen now.
- Day 1, Part 3 - In the Company of Ghosts
- Some things never change at dear, queer old Aldergate. Even when they ought to. And it isn't easy to wax nostalgic when running from one dangerous past runs you right into another. Back in the old days, a fresh-faced young Adrian Ward became friends - ish - with the girl who would in short order become the renowned and notorious Sammie Brayden. Inspiring and irritating, Sammie made it her business to be a perennial pain in Adrian's arse. Now her severed legs have been discovered practically on his new front door step ... plus ça change, eh? Listen now.
- Day 2, Part 1 - Present Fears and Horrible Imaginings
- Adrian Ward's first full day back at Aldergate starts with unknown intruders and mysterious letters. It ends with him cowering in his own library. Listen now.
- Day 2, Part 2 - Encounters With the Local Wildlife
- Vice-Chancellor Ward is crowned king of a silent LARP, gets lost trying to find his office, and nearly crushes a student to death. Listen now.
- Day 2, Part 3 - Madness and Murder
- All is not well at Aldergate University. The eccentricity of Sir Reggie lives on in a bizarre mess of mangled books; the mystery of Sammie's murder grows even more mysterious. Listen now.
- Day 3, Part 1 - À la recherche du temps volé
- Sleepwalking is all very well. Sleeprunning across a library, less so. Sleepfalling down a flight of stairs, not at all. Adrian Ward is bruised and battered, and not at all in the mood to meet his Chief Constable - but he needs to know how the investigation into Sammie's murder is going. If the police are digging into Sammie's past, they may dig up things better left buried. Listen now.
- Day 3, Part 2 - Frighted with False Fires
- Fire in a crowded theatre is only the appetizer for an afternoon that features ancient monoliths, deadly chandeliers, sexy flying toasters, and Baz's awful yellow Reliant Robin. Listen now.
- Day 3, Part 3 - Setting the Scene of the Crime
- At last Adrian Ward visits the Gambrel College quad where Sammie's severed legs were found. How did the killer manage to dump them there without being spotted? And ... why? These and other questions haunt the new Vice-Chancellor - who has quite enough to worry about. A dead pal, a nasty fall, and rather a questionable run-in with the Masked Ones that continue to clutter up the Pentangle. Ah, well. Nothing a hot bath and a large scotch can't fix, eh? Listen now.
- Day 4, Part 1 - A Midwinter Night's Mare
- Nightmares are awful things - especially for Adrian Ward, who usually doesn't dream. Death by fire ... death by water ... isn't it enough for death to stalk him in his waking hours? To make matters worse, there's something awful going on on the Pent, and he's absolutely spoiled a favorite pair of shoes. However, it's not all bad. If he hadn't gone sprinting out into a rainy November night, he'd never have met Parata. Listen now.
- Day 4, Part 2: The Facts in the Case of S. Brayden
- Nothing can keep Adrian Ward down - not when he's got a sentient art gallery to lift him high above the rooftops of Aldergate. Down on the ground, however, there is a mystery to be solved. The mystery of the infamous, ingenious, irritating Samantha Brayden. And not just the mystery of her murder. Listen now.
- Day 4, Part 3: Up from the Ashes
- Things seem to be looking up. Properly washed and dressed for the first time since his return to the University, Adrian Ward is off for a lunch date with Baz. He never gets there. He does, however, revisit the site of Hobson Mews for the first time since the deadly fire that sent him fleeing Aldergate in the first place. Listen now.
- Day 4, Part 4: Tea Among the Bloodletters
- It seems that the paths of glory lead to the Bloodletters Club. Britain's most venerable unknown society (of which the great Dr. Kilbury is a member) boasts a strange history and an excellent chef. To get there, however, Adrian Ward must run a gantlet of surprising visitors, including a most unwelcome - and perhaps dangerous - old acquaintance. Listen now.
- Day 4, Part 5: A Clue with a View
- Near-death experiences have a wonderful way of focusing the mind ... and Adrian Ward's mind was badly in need of a bit of focus. After nearly getting squashed by a strange old man in a scarlet Rolls Royce, he returns to Gambrel College in search of some clue as to Sammie's real secrets. Oddly enough, he actually finds it. But success - however unexpected - may be fleeting. Things are about to take a sticky turn... Listen now.
- Day 5 or 6, Part 1: De Profundis
- A midnight snack becomes a matter of life and death as Adrian Ward - investigating Sir Reggie's wine collection - finds himself trapped underground by an unknown intruder. Imprisoned in the decaying darkness of the ancient sub-cellars beneath the Manse, he'll be lucky to see daylight again ... or, perhaps, not so lucky... Listen now.
- Day 5 or 6, Part 2: Entombed!
- The key to Adrian Ward's escape - if it exists - must lie somewhere in the lightless recesses of his premature tomb. If he hopes to save his life, however, he's going to have to risk it ... and he's running out of time. The clock is ticking, and the whispering shadows are closing in. Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 1: The Self Unknown
- The good news is that Adrian Ward has escaped. The bad news is that he has no idea how. His shadow-self, the OtherWard who occasionally takes him on walkabout, has proven useful this time - but he's still an unwelcome guest. The time has come to start investigating him again... Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 2: The Morning Before History
- It is the day of Adrian Ward's inauguration as the 51st Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aldergate. It may be raining cats and dogs, but all of Aldergate has turned out to watch his procession. Is he ready for it? He's ready for the ceremony - strange rites, silly robes and all - but is he ready for the problems that come with the job? Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 3: Vivat Rex & Curat Lex
- Despite pouring rain and complicated rituals, Adrian Ward is at last inaugurated as Aldergate's new Vice-Chancellor. The internet loves him, and the University's students - however peculiar, intoxicated, or naked they may be - are there to offer their support. It seems that the story of Sammie's murder has not yet leaked out to the public, and the new VC's past remains a secret. Time to celebrate, eh? If only his ride to the banquet hadn't gone mysteriously missing... Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 4: Heavy Traffic on Memory Lane
- The journey from the Manse of the Vice-Chancellor to the Aldergate Museum is a winding one, through twisting roads and shadowed history. A lot of things have changed since Adrian Ward was last in Aldergate - and some things haven't changed at all. Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 5: Rendezvous at the Aldergate Museum
- The Aldergate Museum is the perfect place for a meeting of the University Council. Separate from the University, and wrapped in secrets of its own, it serves as neutral territory upon which Adrian Ward will meet those who share the responsibility of governing the University. There's more than ancient history waiting within the walls of that reclaimed monastery, however. For the new Vice-Chancellor, it may be difficult to distinguish the beautiful from the deadly ... or the real from the imagined. Listen now.
- Day 7, Part 6: Night of the Dawn of an Era
- Dinner is served - a peculiar dinner, in thirteen peculiar courses. At last, Adrian Ward is introduced to his fellow members of the University Council, each as unique as the succession of dishes. Some seem likely friends; others seem like trouble. It's the ones who aren't present, however, who may prove most worrying of all... Listen now.
- Day 8, Part 1: The Time is Out of Joint
- A busy day has an unpromising beginning. Adrian Ward may now be the proud master of the Midwinter Hill Centre for Integrated Science - but he's still not allowed in, for reasons that may be especially sinister. That's bad enough; worse still, the new Vice-Chancellor is once more losing time... Listen now.
- Day 8, Part 2: Among the Lowest of the Dead
- Who's a Vice-Chancellor to trust? Adrian Ward has long suspected that the infamous Sir John "Black Jack" Holborn is plotting to kill him. To find that the man is not only in Aldergate, but apparently conspiring with the Chief Constable, comes as quite a shock ... almost as much as his long-delayed reunion with Samantha Brayden, under the strangest and most tragic of circumstances. Listen now.
- Day 8, Part 3: Sir Adrian Views the Body
- The investigation into Sammie's murder is not going well. Deep in a sub-basement of the Wetherby Medical Center, Aldergate's own are conducting a private examination of the severed legs discovered in Gambrel College. Adrian Ward has his own investigation to worry about - and seeing what remains of his old pal results in more questions than answers. Listen now.
Day 8, Part 4: If You Can't Keep Your Head
- There's more to life than murder, and Adrian Ward has business to attend to. The Acclamation of the Vice-Chancellor ought to be the last step in the elaborate ritual to confirm him in his new job. As Baz leads him on a whirlwind tour of Aldergate's thirty Colleges, he's in a race against the clock - and what little time he has, his ever-unreliable brain keeps stealing. Listen now.