I've been thinking about mental illness and the rise of magic. In the real world, it's pretty simple to say that someone who claims to use magic to read other people's memories is probably suffering from delusions. In 1879, though, who knows? At the same time, there's no reason to think that the opening of the Portal would eliminate mental illness. How would all of that play out?
There was a network of publicly funded Lunatic Asylums across England at the time. Some were overcrowded, abusive and neglectful of patients by the end of the 19th century, but in conception they were pretty progressive - mainly using work and recreation as therapy, called 'moral therapy'. In addition to the publicly funded mass institutions, there were private ones for the well-to-do with out the overcrowding. Of course, inconvenient persons were sometimes committed against their will to get them out of the way.
I could imagine a secret society or school founded within an Asylum dedicated to developing magical talents of the inmates, or an adventure to rescue someone trapped against their will, or even a whole campaign based around a smaller, private asylum's inmates.
http://thetimechamber.co.uk/beta/sites/ ... the-asylum
https://activisthistory.com/2017/05/19/ ... n-britain/
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