Today we mourn the passing of Augustus P-, a gentleman, true scholar and friend to all those who study the super-mundane. The manner of his passing is not yet confirmed, however a silver strand of his hair (from a lock kept for this purpose) turned black after exposure to aqua mortis, so the conclusions are undeniable.
Sometimes called “The Attenborough of the paranormal”, Augustus had been active in our community for many years, serving as colleague and mentor, and his close relationship with the Archive is well known.
Topics on which he has shed light include the question of the Fae Folk, shadow tomes and Pine-curdled Jackanapes. He was the discoverer of the type 5 (effervescent) pool of darkness and also proved its distinct nature from the type 4. His greatest love, however, was the study of cryptids of all types, from the gentle cotton-lamb to much more dangerous creatures. It is this that likely lead to his untimely demise.
Despite his advanced age Augustus was still an active researcher. His latest work was devoted to finally imaging the Watchers in the Trees, the dark shapes and occasional flash of reflective eyes that can occasionally be seen by wary people out at night. The Watchers are believed to exist on every continent bar Antarctica (which of course has no trees), and are of course difficult to distinguish from cats, aye-ayes, chupacabra and other nocturnal arboreal animals. They are known to gather around human settlements, although for what purpose beyond watching us no one knows. An extract from the last letter sent by Augustus to the Archivist says:
“The Watchers watch. They do not hunt – so far as we know – they do not call or interact. They watch us silently, and only us, ignoring deer, cats, owls and other animals. They do not seem to like being seen, as they will vanish in a moment, but if you are careful not to look directly at them large groups will gather in the branches. They are smaller than an adult human, but broad. Beyond that I cannot describe them, just patches of shadow with the occasional reflection of moonlight from their eyes. In my next expedition I intend to take a hidden camera which will film up and behind me. […] I am sure they are benign, as there seem to be so many that if they hunted people the body count would be obvious, and horrendous. I hope to show that these Watchers are merely a type of cryptid that is exceptionally gifted at hiding and evading detection, rather than devils, shadow creatures or other fanciful hypotheses put about by fearful fools.”
Although we at the Archive strive to be neutral, we can only hope that the final hypothesis of our friend was correct. A search for his body has already begun, it may be as simple a cause of death as a fall in the dark, so please do not jump to conclusions. Augustus is survived by two children and one grandchild, but his work will live on with us forever.