On this page, a broad recap of the story so far is given. If you have ideas about the story, feel free to add or comment.
1801—Brighid Laidcend discovers that her relatives on Éilís Mór have explored the Veil. At least one of them (Máire) had partially transformed into a bird. Horrified, Brighid tries to burn away all evidence of the Laidcends in Éilís Mór (Chapter 7).
1871?—Anthony Beechworth also enrolls at St. Gall. Around this time, Anthony's father dies. Anthony inherits his father's journal, which apparently includes notes on how to create a serum for exploring the Veil.
1875?—At St. Gall, Anthony forms a student group that is devoted to science and philosophy. The other members are Devitt, Alexandre du Pré, and probably Hugo Ashdown. Father Ernest Glynn is their guest. Using a serum that Anthony created, they enter the Veil and glimpse the Simurg (Chapters 2 and 3, Collector's Edition).
("The Four Witnesses" seem to be closely associated with this student group. However, I have been unable to locate any in-story references to the name “The Four Witnesses,” except for an off-hand mention by Ernest (Chapter 2) and the ticket that Devitt found in his pocket (Chapter 3).)
1878?—Alexandre founds a secret society called the The Playwright, which is apparently dedicated to exploring the Veil. Hugo Ashdown and Miss Konhe are probably members (Chapters 5 and 7). It’s possible that Devitt and Anthony are also members.
1881—During the Battle of Majuba Hill, a company of British troops apparently enters the Veil. They encounter a “sentinel” that kills everyone except for two soldiers: Captain Skidd and Sgt. Conghill (Chapter 5).
1882?—Conghill arrives at East Hill and tells Alexandre about Majuba Hill. Alexandre leaves the asylum, finds Skidd, and recruits him to the Playwright. After Alexandre leaves the asylum, Miss Konhe’s mental state deteriorates (Chapter 5).
1885—In the town of Wickport, the Playwright helps Professor Adam Wright try to open the Last Door. Instead of using a serum, they induce “primal terror” in a test subject, who may have been Hugo Ashdown. Hugo enters the Veil, but he returns as a monster, and perhaps another creature returned with him. Wright abandons the experiment and seals off the cave where it took place. Although these events are kept secret, many people shun Wickport, believing it to be haunted by monsters (Chapters 6 and 7).
188?—At some point, an order of nuns turns St. Gall into a hospital. Ernest, now a Monsignor, runs the hospital, though the nuns rarely see him. He instructs them to hire Frank Baldwin as a caretaker (Chapter 2).
July 1887—Anthony discovers Raymundus’ “Hoopoe” formula. He and Alexandre use it to design an improved serum. One of Alexandre’s companions, a small ape-like creature named Old Mike, sickens and dies (Chapter 4).
October 1887?—Anthony writes a letter to Alexandre, urging him to think carefully before opening the Last Door. Anthony is concerned that creatures on the other side might use the door to cross into our world. Anthony does not send the letter (Chapter 4). [Note: Although some evidence suggests that the letter was written in early October 1887, it could have been written at any time.]
1887-1889—Anthony collects a series of newspaper articles about mysterious deaths: a judge who killed himself in 1887, an Earl that was found dead in the Thames in 1888, and a famous actor that bled to death in a hotel room in 1889 (Chapter 1). They were all probably members of the Playwright who quit and had suicidal tendencies after leaving.
Mar-Oct 1891—Anthony and his wife Anna go insane and die. They report feeling watched and judged. Anna says that an “foreign guest” now dwells in their souls, and that it is not from this world (Chapter 1).
Oct 1891—Just before Anthony kills himself, he writes to Devitt, begging him to come see him. Devitt seems to suffer from memory loss. Nevertheless, he goes to Anthony’s home, where he finds the bodies of Anthony and Anna. On Anthony’s person is a note, begging Devitt to secretly travel to St. Gall. A flock of crows destroys Anthony’s body (Chapter 1). Elsewhere, a patient at East Hill apparently enters the Veil. He is injured, but recovers. He starts saying prayers in an unfamiliar language, perhaps worshiping the Simurg (Chapter 5). In East Sussex, Alexandre’s servant sees two “copies” of Alexandre. The servant quits the house (Chapter 4).
Nov-Dec 1891—Baldwin kills at least six patients at St. Gall. (He is eventually convicted of 14 murders.) On the orders of Father Ernest, he injects them with serum. The victims die of shock, injuries, and/or madness (Chapters 2 and 4, Collector’s Edition). Around this time, Devitt starts hypnotism sessions with Dr. Wakefield. He recalls seeing “the eye of the bird” and feels agony that is “increasingly unbearable.” With Devitt’s permission, Wakefield consults Johan Kaufmann (Chapter 2).
Dec 1891/Jan 1892—Devitt travels to St. Gall. He recalls being a member of the Four Witnesses. He discovers the crimes of Ernest and Baldwin. Ernest claims that he wanted his victims to make contact with the Simurg. Ernest then kills himself (Chapter 2). Baldwin injects Devitt with serum and buries him alive. Devitt enters the Veil, where a mysterious man helps him find Alexandre. The nuns rescue Devitt from the coffin, and after a day he regains consciousness (Chapters 2, 3, and 4). Baldwin also injects a patient with serum. She enters the Veil and apparently glimpses the Simurg. She returns with a tarot card that a mysterious woman gave her (Collector’s Edition). Elsewhere, Kaufmann and Wakefield start searching for Devitt (Chapters 3 and 4).
Spring? 1892—Devitt finds Alexandre at his home in East Sussex. Alexandre remains in a trance, but he seems to have moments of lucidity. Together, he and Devitt return to the Veil. Alexandre says that he will guide Devitt to the Last Door and they will cross through it together. Kaufmann and Wakefield learn about the crimes at St. Gall, including the attack on Devitt. They find the letter that Anthony wrote, but never sent (Chapter 4).
Summer 1892?—Outside the East Hill Asylum, a newspaper boy hears a sound like “a devil from hell” (Chapter 5). (I’m guessing that this happened a few months before Wakefield arrived. But it could have happened earlier, for example when the patient entered the Veil in the previous fall.)
Fall? 1892—Wakefield investigates the East Hill Asylum and one of Alexandre’s London residences. He meets Miss Konhe, Sgt. Conghill, and Cpt. Skidd. He learns about the Playwright and the sentinel at Majuba Hill. Miss Konhe apparently turns into a flock of crows. As this happens, Wakefield hears a sound that he cannot describe. Around this time, newspapers report that the ambassador of Turkey has died mysteriously. They also report that a sea serpent was swept away from a museum in Spain and washed up at St. Ives (Chapters 5 and 6).
Jan 1893—Wakefield and Kaufmann travel to Wickport. They meet Professor Wright, who suffers from a brain disease. They learn about the experiments that Wright and the Playwright conducted in 1885. Wright dies, apparently at the hands of an unseen home intruder. Wakefield explores a cave near Wickport, where he finds a monster that might be Hugo (Chapter 6). Kaufmann becomes ill and dies. Before his death, he urges Wakefield to travel to the Irish island of Éilís Mór and look for a place called the Cronemeadan. After Kaufmann’s death, Wakefield becomes depressed (Chapter 7).
Spring? 1893—Wakefield travels to Éilís Mór. The villagers on the island report hearing strange sounds in the marshes. A boy named Kieran disappears and may have physically transformed. Wakefield finds the Cronemeadan, which is a crypt that contains the bird-like remains of Máire Laidcend. As Wakefield enters the Cronemeadan, the entrance is covered and Wakefield enters the Veil. In the Veil, Wakefield finds Devitt, but not Alexandre (Chapter 7).