Anarchy in the U.K. 2072
On the corner of Dowd and Stackpole Streets sits a threestory brownstone that’s seen better days. Its ground floor has been occupied, for the better part of 40 years, by one of the magic community’s venerable landmarks, Gascoigne’s Lorestore — purveyor of fine esoteric goods, magical formula, and alchemical materials.
Founded by British expat, for decades Gascoigne’s possessed a clear Hermetic and Wiccan bias, but the proprietors have kept up with the times and tried to expand their client base in recent years. The store now boasts sections devoted to shamanic telesma and other popular mystic traditions, as well as a thriving online enchantment-on-demand service.
The main showroom is dark and musty and its wall space is obsessively crowded with packed shelves of books and scrolls, native masks, and symbolic carvings. A couple of statues of South Asian deities sit in the middle of the room and display cases full of trinkets, statuettes, and fetishes take up more floor space. The few truly powerful telesma are kept in glass cases within reach of the sales counter. A couple of locked doors lead off from the main showroom. One leads to a rare book and magical foci storeroom (containing a handful of finished enchantments for sale, numerous hardcopy formulas, rare radicals and other alchemical preparations). A second door, behind the counter, leads to the back rooms and alchemical laboratory.
The talismonger’s is staffed by two clerks, an elderly dwarf and a young woman, but is actually the property of a small local magical group. One or more members of the group are usually found in the back working in the alchemical laboratory. While a feature of the local magic scene, Gascoigne’s is under increasing pressure to sell out to Mitsuhama’s Pentagram Publications subsidiary, which is looking to expand its presence
in the East End by picking up small concerns.
The back of the store is divided up between a storage area, a functional office (with a cot for keeping an eye on long circulations), a large enchanter’s lab with a permanent ritual space, and a cramped bathroom. The alchemical lab qualifies as an enchanting shop (p. 79, Street Magic).