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Ashley Graydon
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"Eggert Benedict"
This coat... and the music disc, I must take with me no matter what happens.

Ashley Graydon, also known under the pseudonym "Eggert Benedict", was a communications officer at London's central communication station. He led a team responsible for setting up and testing the telegraphs used by the ministry, and was responsible for inspections of the ministry's communications office. His skills got him held in high regard at his job. He was called as a witness in the trial of Gina Lestrade.

Early life[]

Ashley Graydon was born Ashley Milverton, the son of a brickmaker, "Thrice-Fired" Mason Milverton. Born into poverty, he was childhood friends with the Skulkin brothers, with whom he would often engage in chicanery. Milverton and his wife were very poor and they almost never went without worrying about money. Eventually, Mason's wife left him and took Ashley with her, changing her surname to Graydon, Determined to rise out of destitution, Ashley studied as hard as he could and eventually got a job at a telegram company.

Father's death[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room

Making a deal with McGilded.

About a decade later, Graydon was approached by Magnus McGilded to assist in stealing top-secret information from the government in exchange for large sums of money. Graydon, being in charge of the telegraph stations, would have easy access to this information. Still horrified of the idea of falling back into poverty, Graydon agreed. The method was such: After obtaining the information, Graydon would encode the Morse transmission into two pages of sheet music, one for the dots, and one for the dashes. He would then contact his estranged father, Milverton, and ask him to embed the sheet music onto two separate music disks, each to be fitted in a music box designed to relay Morse code. Graydon would exchange the disks with McGilded in two separate transactions, one for each disk. Through this unorthodox system of encryption, tracing the method the secrets were being leaked would be virtually impossible.

Graydon accumulated much wealth as a result of his espionage, and shared it with his father, but despite his key role in the scheme, Graydon kept Milverton in the dark on the true nature of the disks. During one such transaction, Graydon exchanged the first disk with McGilded and went to visit his father, to split the profit. Milverton, concerned for his son, refused to take the money unless he made the exchange of the second disk himself. Pressured, Graydon relented and allowed his father to make the deal in his stead. But the deal soon soured, culminating in McGilded murdering the brickmaker in cold blood, and having the disk hidden inside a pawn shop. In an act of revenge, and to retrieve the music disk, Graydon used his money to hire many people, including a fake bailiff, to lure McGilded into the omnibus his father was killed in and set it ablaze, burning him alive.

Retrieving the music disks[]

Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story

When the forfeit date for the disk arrived, Graydon followed pickpocket Gina Lestrade into the pawn shop of Pop Windibank, under the alias "Eggert Benedict". He claimed that Lestrade had stolen his proof of reservation for McGilded's coat. He was provided the coat; however, he quickly realized only one of the disks was contained within. Before he could leave, Herlock Sholmes and Ryunosuke Naruhodo deduced his true intentions, to intercept the stolen music disk inside the coat's pocket, and in a fit of anger, he attempted to take the disk at gun point. He was forced to retreat from the shop after the arrival of Inspector Tobias Gregson, who confiscated the disk.

That night Graydon called his old friends, the Skulkin brothers, to help him retrieve the disks. Breaking into the pawnbrokery, Graydon very quickly found the music box, and confiscated the disk sitting inside. Windibank heard the intruders from the storeroom, and went out to confront them. After the brothers were beaten, Graydon was shot by Windibank. The bullet passed through his left arm and struck the wall calendar at the back. Graydon panicked, and fired his own gun at Windibank, who was retreating into the storeroom. Despite meaning it only as a warning shot, his aim was uncanny and it pierced Windibank's heart through the back, killing him on the spot. Upon realizing that, he panicked and ran from the scene, leaving the Skulkins to deal without him.

Lestrade's trial[]

Gina Lestrade was arrested for Windibank's murder. During her trial, Naruhodo mentioned Graydon from a photograph when suggesting the real killer. Upon looking at the photo, Juror 5 revealed Graydon as a technician in the same communication office where she worked, and was able to provide his real name. Hastily summoned to the witness stand, Graydon still had the first disk on his person, the second having already been presented as evidence in the trial by prosecutor Barok van Zieks despite Tobias Gregson’s pleas. As Lestrade gave her testimony, Graydon discreetly bargained with Gregson, who was searching for the other disk. They agreed to a trade upon the stand: Gregson told Graydon about the small window at the scene of the crime to build his alibi, and Graydon gave Gregson the missing disk. They manage to complete the trade, despite Naruhodo noticing something was up.

Later in the trial, while Graydon was testifying with Gregson and the Skulkins also on the stand, Gregson had an uncharacteristic outburst and grabbed Nash by the collar. Naruhodo later figured out that Gregson's intention was to slip the disk inside Nash’s suit pocket, on the off chance that he would be searched for it. However, Naruhodo saw through it, and the first disk was found. Despite this, neither Graydon or Gregson would admit to the collusion.

Ashley Graydon defeated.

The final nail in the coffin was Naruhodo threatening to put the two disks into the music box and play the secrets within in front of everyone in the courtroom, saying that if Gregson didn’t bother choosing his methods on the job, then neither would he. As the disks were played for the court to hear, Tobias Gregson gave in and admitted to his deeds. Graydon, in a fit of rage, moved to strangle Gregson with his walking stick and had to be restrained. Left with no recourse, Graydon confessed as well. Van Zieks told Graydon that what he did made him no better than Magnus McGilded. The man solemnly agreed.

In jail, Graydon decided that he had no regrets about taking the path that he did, but Nash and Ringo Skulkin told him to take it easy, and suggested they try to revive their old tricks. Meanwhile, it was discovered that the government message encoded on the music disks Graydon coveted was a set of four names: Kazuma Asogi, Asa Shinn, Tobias Gregson, and John Wilson. Though the meaning of those names were unknown at the time, it would eventually become apparent.

Personality[]

Ashley Graydon presented himself as a high-handed British gentleman, dressing himself in gaudy white, and displaying a penchant for twirling his cane, dancing, and theatrical posing. He was well spoken yet brusque in his affairs, and chose to flaunt his wealth and his style.

Deep down, Graydon harbored utter contempt for his upbringing. He considered being born into poverty a curse, and strived to escape it above all else. Even after achieving a well-paying job, the uncomfortable memories of his strenuous childhood eventually drove him to criminal affairs and espionage. Despite this, he still cared for and respected the people who raised him, including his father.

Name[]

  • His Japanese surname, "Chrogray" (クログレイ), is a play on "kuro-grey" (black-gray). His English name, "Ashley", may be a play on "ash gray".
  • His Japanese name, "Rubato" (ルバート), is derived from "Mirubaton", a katakana conversion of "Milverton".
  • His English surname, "Graydon", may be a pun on "donning gray".
    • His English name has the initials "A.G." Ag is the atomic symbol for Silver. This is likely to play off of Magnus McGilded, as the latter is mostly attributed to gold (e.g. Mc"Gilded"), and silver and gold are often paired together to show wealth.
  • His birth surname "Milverton" is derived from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton", who in turn was based off real life art dealer and blackmailer Charles Augustus Howell.
  • His Japanese alias "Egg Benedict" comes from a name of a food of the same name.
    • His English alias "Eggert Benedict" is an elaboration on this to make it seem more legitimate. "Eggert" is an actual name derived from the ancient Germanic name Eghard.[1]

Notes[]

  • In the original Sherlock Holmes novels, Charles Augustus Milverton is a criminal with a history of stealing information from the gentry and holding it for ransom.
  • Ashley Graydon has the distinction of being the first culprit convicted of murder to appear in a game's closing credits.
  • His belt buckle, a horse shoe, and his overall pale appearance and white clothes, could be a reference to the dairy he wishes to open that he mentions during the end credits.
  • His appearance and that of his two friends could also be a nod to the portrayal of Moriarty in the Sherlock Hound television series, though Ashley seems to be much less of a criminal mastermind like Moriarty and shows a great deal of remorse for his actions.
  • Graydon technically helped Mael Stronghart bring the Reaper curse to Barok van Zieks due to killing McGilded right after he got acquitted. However, Graydon wasn't working for Stronghart.

References[]

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