Society of the Standing Stone
Founding of the Society
In 1673, Robert Lumley, with his wife Mary and their two small children, were journeying from London to Aberdeen. Their carriage broke an axle and was stranded. As it was nearly nightfall, their driver took one of their horses back to the nearest village to summon another carriage. He was not seen again.
Lumley and family waited for hours, before finally deciding to set off across a field toward farm lights in the distance. They were beset upon by a Night Hag, a foul witch of legend. Caught in the open, in the dark, and armed only with a sabre and two feeble lanterns, they made their stand under a large rock. Robert and Mary pressed their backs to the stone and held the witch at bay until they were finally rescued by the rising sun. In the morning light, they found that their shelter was no ordinary rock – it was a “menhir”, a standing stone.
Returning to London, Lumley used his fortune to found a social club, the Society of the Standing Stone. He paid to have the menhir dug up and transported to London, where it now stands in the Great Hall of the Lumley House. Membership is restricted to those who have had a brush with the supernatural, and dedicate their lives to protecting others from it.
The Society of the Standing Stone is unusual by 1870s English standards, in that it allows full membership to women. Recognizing that Mary showed every bit as much courage as he did on that fateful night, Lumley made this a requirement from the beginning. This decision caused a great deal of friction with other nobles and socialites who were interested in joining. As did the decision a few years later to allow full admittance to non-whites and non English. Lumley was seen by many to be a fool with romantic ideals, and membership in the Society remained low. This suited the Lumleys just fine.
Today, the Society remains small and is extremely selective about who it admits. There are a few in government who know the Society’s true purpose, and the Society is occasionally called upon to assist when a mystery takes a more peculiar turn.