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The Path of Fate is an audio-book produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in November 2008.
“The Master tells me that when Quentin Collins finds my heart, I can come back...”
Over a century ago, the first Quentin Collins built a stairway to traverse time, opening the way to countless realms of past and future. Now a new stairway has appeared at Collinwood, and the present-day Quentin is drawn to explore its dark path, forging an unlikely alliance with Angelique. Can she use her powers to help him, even at the risk of her own eternal damnation?
- Once there was a witch who had lived for long long time, she was not a bad witch, or so she believed. Simply a person who always longed for things that would make her happy, and used her great powers only for that purpose. The trouble was that nothing kept her happy for long, she was like a little girl who received the nicest toys only to smash them when she tired of them. However, sometimes little girls just don’t appreciate how much their nice toys cost. And for most of them, especially if they don't learn any better, there comes a time when one must pay. If not for the toys themselves, then for tools used to break them.
A late summer evening, Angelique Collins hears the hounds of hell baying on the horizon. A voice calls out to her.
One summer afternoon, Quentin Collins knocks at the door of Angelique’s cottage wanting her help, he claims the lives of his family are at stake. Angelique is reluctant to get involved and bids him goodbye.
3am, Quentin returns, his knocking at Angelique’s door is more frantic. He reveals that another stairway into time, like the one his uncle built, has appeared at Collinwood. It has allowed him to see the future where everyone at Collinwood is dead, and Quentin is the one that kills them. Angelique agrees to help.
- There were times when the witch cared about people besides herself, remember she was not a bad person, but she could be selfish, and she often became impatient. Sometimes her impatience lead her to becoming angry, and for someone who didn’t know better, it would be easy to mistake an angry witch for an evil witch.
Collinwood, Angelique senses a malevolent chill filling the mansion's foyer. Quentin takes her to an old storage room; it is filled with the pulsating red glow of a human heart contained with a sealed jar resembling an ancient Egyptian burial urn. It started beating when Quentin first entered the room a few days ago, which triggered the appearance of the staircase at the far end of the west wing. He has tried everything to destroy it. Angelique feels she can remember it from somewhere, but can quite place it. Suddenly Quentin is compelled to go to the stairway. Angelique follows him. Quentin opens a door to a closet containing the stairway into time descending into lightless depths. Sensing danger, Angelique closes the door and the force compelling Quentin stops. They return to the main floor. Angelique agrees to stay with Quentin for the rest of the night in order to watch over him.
- The witch did not want to be evil, or even to be seen as evil, but when nothing she did brought her lasting happiness she sometimes wondered whether the choices she made were meaningless. She understood that when she broke the things that no longer made her happy, she was actually doing wrong. And yet doing wrong always made her unhappy. So finally like a good little girl she decided to put wicked things away for good. Maybe she thought this would prove that she really was good. Maybe she thought being good could make her happy. Forever.
Quentin’s room, Quentin sleeps as Angelique watches over him. Deep in her thoughts, she realizes Quentin has gone. She hurries to west wing, certain she will find him there. The stairwell door hangs open, its wooden frame glistens with crimson light. She sees Quentin below her descending the stairs, seemingly in a trance. She rushes down the stairs after him and finds herself in a long corridor; a twinkling orb of energy in the distance guides her to a destination. A voice calls out to her. It taunts her. The voice is familiar to her. A faint reddish light appears in the distance revealing a furnished room. Moving towards it she finds the foyer of Collinwood, except its different. It is now furnished with abstract sculptures, totem-like constructs and a statuette of a hideous figure. Angelique recognizes the statue it is Dagon, an ancient powerful deity worshipped by witches and warlocks. Inside the drawing room, Angelique finds it filled with objects of dark power, carved figures of gods, and a huge ornate chair resembling a throne. Blood colored light pours from the overhead fixtures and numerous candelabras. Beside the throne is the urn containing the pulsing heart. The voice declares that the portrait no longer protects Quentin. Standing before Angelique is Quentin in his monstrous werewolf form. It leaps at her. Everything goes black.
- When the witch turned to good, she became very very good. However she also believed that although she had made many mistakes before she should not have to pay for them. After all a good person shouldn't have to pay for mistakes she would never make again. Unfortunately, the witch never paused to consider that some things even trying to fix the things she had broken might be against the rules. You see there are rules for witches even if she didn't particularly like them. And the one who made the rules, never failed to notice when the witch didn't like something.
Returning to consciousness, Angelique finds herself next to Quentin’s bed where he rests. She remembers the first Quentin Collins in 1840 who built the stairway into time. She deduces that the heart must have been a motivating agent in the stairway’s construction. Quentin wakes. He can’t remember changing into the werewolf. Quentin begins to succumb to the heart’s influence again. He leaves the room. Angelique races after him but a door slams shut in front of her causing her to lose Quentin. Several pairs of glowing red eyes appear to her in the darkness of the corridor. She runs away slamming a door closed behind her. She waits but nothing happens. Looking out of the window she can see every window on every floor of the house glowing with the reddish light of the heart. She hears footsteps beyond the door. It is Quentin heading towards the main floor of the house. She follows, beside the drawing room door Dagon’s statuette sits on its pedestal. Inside the drawing room, a figure sits upon the throne, one bright eye gazing upon Angelique, the other eye is completely black. She recognizes it as Quentin, but is certain that it is not his soul within. The urn containing the heart blazes brightly. The figure says it has returned to claim Quentin. Angelique realizes that the spirit within Quentin’s body is that of Isiah Mason, a sorcerer who tutored her mentor Judah Zachery. Isiah confirms that the first Quentin Collins used his knowledge to build the stairway into time. Angelique vows to save Quentin. Quentin’s possessed body rises from the throne and staggers towards her transforming into the werewolf. Angelique begins an incantation calling upon the elements of thunder and lightning to strike at the heart of her enemy. Isiah pleads with her. A bolt of lightning bursts through the window and strikes the urn containing Isiah’s heart halting Quentin’s transformation. Angelique cries out again causing another bolt to strike the urn. A crack appears in it. She implores Quentin to smash it. Quentin, now returned to normal, staggers to the urn and destroys it. The drawing room reverts to its normal state; the throne and the statue of Dagon vanish.
Angelique knows there will be a price to be paid for using her powers. Later that night, she hears the hounds of hell. They break savagely into her cottage. She screams in terror.
- And the witch went to sleep, understanding but not accepting the fate that had befallen her. How could she deserve punishment after being so good? To save someone she cared about from a terrible end. She had forgotten that she was not the one that made the rules she had decided to break. Maybe it was just her destiny to be overtaken by misery, whether she deserved it or not. Believing this she gave into hopelessness and lost herself.
Angelique finds herself in Diablos' death realm. Diablos appears to Angelique looking exactly like her. Diablos reveals that it allowed Isiah Mason free reign in order to tempt Angelique to use her powers. It asks her whether she would trade her destined fate to serve it again. She can return to Earth to live her life as she desires on the condition that she acts on Diablos’ behalf. It will be up the Angelique to see that the Collins family stumble onto its path. She agrees. It tells her she will begin with Quentin. They will not meet again unless she fails. As she begins to disappear, Angelique starts to have second thoughts and cries out in anguish.
Angelique sees Quentin walking on the beach. They talk over the events they recently experienced. He asks her if she would like to spend some time at Collinwood in order to get reacquainted with him and the rest of the family. Angelique thinks that's a good idea and accepts.
- So finally, the witch having found herself again resolved to live happily ever after.
Background information and notes
- Producer Stuart Manning confirmed on his blog the following dates for the events of the play: 1985, Angelique begins self-imposed exile near Collinsport; 1990, The stairway of Isiah Mason appears at Collinwood and Angelique is reclaimed by Diablos.
- Also in 1990 the Collins family, not including Quentin, is staying in Europe for the summer. Professor Stokes is in Egypt. Barnabas and Julia left Collinsport years ago and haven’t returned.